Politics & Policy

The Corner

‘Sutherland Springs church shooter escaped mental health facility months after attack on wife, child’

That’s a headline from a local media outlet.

Read the whole thing, but here are the key details:

When they arrived, the two officers learned Kelley had escaped from Peak Behavioral Health Services in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. A witness on the scene told the officers that [the Texas shooter], who was 21 years old at the time, had “suffered from mental disorders and had plans to run . . . from Peak Behavioral Health Services” by purchasing a bus ticket out of state.

The witness informed officers that [the shooter] “was a danger to himself and others as he had already been caught sneaking firearms onto Holloman Air Force base,” located approximately 100 miles from the bus terminal. The report further states that [he] “was attempting to carry out death threats” he had made on his military superiors.

This was in June of 2012, before he was sentenced (in November). He was released to a New Mexico police department.

The kicker? “The final page of the report states that there was an entry submitted to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database,” whose records are queried during gun background checks. Those prohibited from buying guns include anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.”

We already know the Air Force failed to submit the initial arrest and conviction to the FBI, meaning they didn’t show up in the background check when the shooter tried to buy a gun. I won’t even hazard a guess as to why none of this mental-health-related information showed up either.

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