As if Texas shooter Devin Kelley, accused of killing 26 people and wounding 20 others at a Texas church last Sunday wasn’t disturbing and heartbreaking enough, new information reveals a former Air Force colleague has told authorities Kelley purchased pets from Craigslist and “used the dogs as target practice.”
According to CNN, Jessika Edwards had worked with Kelley at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 to 2012, and what he told her about the animals was enough for her to stop communicating with him. The admissions of using pets as target practice came in Facebook messages in 2014 when Kelley tried to reconnect with Jessika in civilian life.
Jessika said Kelley had also made jokes about wanting to kill someone. She would respond that it wasn’t funny, but she described his obsession was so strong when Kelley was disciplined for poor performance, she was afraid Kelley would “shoot the place up.” And even though Jessika states she frequently tried to reach out to help him, and who she said attended regular sessions with a chaplain for mental health counseling, hadn’t seemed to help.
In another example of Kelley’s mental illness, he allegedly praised Dylann Roof, the man who entered a South Carolina church and killed nine people.
“He would say isn’t it cool? Did you watch the news?,” Jessika stated. “He would say he wished he had the nerve to do it, but all he would be able to do is kill animals.”
According to the Denver Channel, Kelley had been arrested for animal cruelty in Colorado in 2014. An El Paso County Sheriff’s Office affidavit states deputies arrested him at the Colorado Springs RV park where he lived. One neighbor told a deputy that Kelley chased the young Alaskan Husky until he caught up with the dog and then jumped on top of it – pinning the dog down to the ground. With a closed fist, Kelley beat the dog in the head and face several times. Another neighbor reported he had witnessed Kelley grab the dog, throw it into the air and then onto the ground as he dragged the defenseless animal back to his camper as the puppy whined and cried.
When officers arrived at the camper on August 1, 2014, Kelley initially refused to speak with authorities and denied abusing his dog. One deputy said the puppy appeared underweight. When Kelley finally agreed to talk about the dog, he stated he chased the dog because she would not obey his commands and continued to run away. He also stated the dog had been acting “aggressive to another dog,” but denied abusing the dog.
Officers arrested Kelley for misdemeanor animal cruelty and took the Husky to a veterinary center. Kelly was given a probationary sentenced and was ordered to pay $368 in retribution.
After the shooting, Jessika told the FBI about the messages on Facebook hoping they could recover them. She also told authorities she gave Kelley her cellphone number and told him he could always call her if “he found himself in a state of mind that he was going to hurt himself or someone else.”
Jessika’s phone never rang.
(Photo of Texas shooter via CNN)
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