Devin Kelley: Texas shooter ‘preached atheism’ and was an outcast, say former classmates | The Independent
Former classmates of Devin Kelley have described the shooter responsible for the worst shooting in Texas history as “twisted” and “strange”.
“He was always twisted in high school,” said Kayla Marie Shearer, one of Mr. Kelley’s former classmates at New Braunfels High School.
She wrote on Facebook: “I always thought if anyone in our class could do something like this it would be him.”
Mr. Kelley was originally from New Braunfels, located near San Antonio. On Sunday, he walked into a church in Sutherland Springs, a small rural town where he had family, and left at least 26 people dead and several others injured.
“He was the first atheist I met. He went to the Air Force after high school, got fired but I don’t know why,” Patrick Boyce, who attended New Braunfels High School with Mr Kelley, told the Daily Mail.
But Courtney Kleiber, who was close to Mr Kelley from middle school through high school, said ‘he was heavily involved in the church at one point and believed in God earlier in his life’.
“I always knew there was something wrong with him,” she wrote on Facebook. “But he wasn’t always a ‘psychopath’. He used to be happy at one point, normal, your average kid. We had a lot of good times together. Over the years, we’ve all seen him transform into something he wasn’t. To be completely honest, I’m really not surprised that it happened, and I don’t think anyone who knows it is very surprised either. My heart goes out to all the victims who should never have been. »
Former classmate Nina Rose Vaca told the Dallas Morning News: “He was a bit strange but that was high school. Everyone was weird in their own way,”
In an interview with DailyMail.com, Ms Vaca said she and Mr Kelley “had a few conversations here and there. It’s not something I expected from him.
“He was an outcast but not a loner,” she added. “He was popular among the other outcasts. I haven’t spoken to him since high school.
Claudia Varjabedian told the Associated Press that Mr. Kelley “seemed like a nice guy”. Ms. Varjabedian is a manager at Summit Vacation Rentals, where Mr. Kelley worked as a security guard last month.
The small town of Sutherland Springs wonders what Mr. Kelley’s motive was for the massacre.
Police have confirmed that Mr Kelley killed his stepmother in the church.
Lula Woicinski White, a 71-year-old member and volunteer at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was the grandmother of Mr Kelley’s wife.
Mr Kelley’s in-laws and his second wife, Danielle, were also members of the church, but neither was present on the day of the shooting, according to police.
Freeman Martin, the regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said “there was a domestic situation within this family.” He said the shooting “was not racially motivated; it wasn’t about religious beliefs.
Mr Kelley’s mother-in-law “had received threatening text messages from him”, Mr Martin said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called Mr Kelley a ‘very deranged individual’ on ABC hello america.