The New York Times broke a story this morning that police have a video captured by a camera inside First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas during Devin Patrick Kelley’s massacre of the congregation.
A video camera captured the bloodbath inside the church, which left 26 people dead and 20 wounded — the worst mass shooting in Texas history — and state and federal investigators have reviewed that gruesome footage. The official estimated that the shooting in the video lasted about seven minutes. The church routinely recorded its services, and often posted the resulting videos online.
When the shooting story first broke, I assumed this kind of video would turn up. I have helped with church video ministry for ten years, and I know when the service starts, the cameras are running, especially in small churches that post their sermons online. Since there are survivors, other details have emerged about the killer. The New York Post reported:
The Texas shooter issued one order to his victims as he prowled the tiny church: “Everybody die, motherf***er!”
Yet, the NYT clings to a false narrative.
Law enforcement officials have said that Mr. Kelley had an ongoing dispute with the family of his estranged second wife, but they are still trying to determine if anything else led to the slaughter.
Mr. Kelley had attended the church in the past, and his mother-in-law was a regular there, though she was not present during the shooting. His wife’s grandmother was one of the people he killed.
Officials have said they have no indication so far that anyone else was involved in the massacre, or that it was politically or religiously motivated.
I realize that Kelley had a mental illness. I know that he had a problem with his ex-wife’s family. But it’s an enormous stretch to assume that this entire massacre was a result of wanting to kill his ex in-laws. If he wanted to kill them–which he failed to do–he could have gone to their home and done it. He could have surveilled the church to make sure they were in it.
Nobody can argue that this was some kind of “crime of passion.” Kelley planned it, wore body armor, and came absolutely prepared. It was not a family dispute either, although that may have, and probably did, influence Kelley’s choice of venue for his terror. The shooting, to me, prima facie, was a hate crime against Christians.
He shot nearly everyone in the church, who were strangers to him. Any claim that it’s not “religiously motivated” is specious at best. Law enforcement have nothing to gain by saying anything as to the killer’s motivation since the killer is dead and there will be no prosecution.
But anyone with an ounce of logic or common sense can realize that this is a religiously-motivated hate crime. Kelley wanted to kill Christians, which is why he chose a church to massacre. He didn’t have to say it–he did it.
One final thought. At some point, the video of this unspeakable violence will leak, or become public. If it does, do not watch it. I guarantee you it will not ever leave your mind, and nothing good can come out of it.
A video camera captured the bloodbath inside the church, which left 26 people dead and 20 wounded â the worst mass shooting in Texas history â and state and federal investigators have reviewed that gruesome footage. The church routinely recorded its services, and often posted the resulting videos online. The killer, armed with an assault rifle, went to the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday morning with magazines capable of holding more than 400 rounds of ammunition, but it is not clear how many shots he actually fired, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Kelley opened fire from outside the church, then paused before entering and resuming his onslaught. The brief halt in gunfire gave Solis hope that the cavalry had arrived — then Kelley issued his chilling command, the survivor said. “I thought it was the police when he went inside because everyone got real quiet.