Examining the link between domestic violence the Sutherland Springs mass murder

Is there a correlation between Kelly?s violent past and this mass murder?

BEAUMONT - Devin Patrick Kelley was court martialed for domestic abuse. In 2012 Kelley was convicted on two assault charges after fracturing his 11 month-old stepson’s skull, and assaulting his then wife. He was confined for a year, given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force, and reduced in rank to E-1. Because of laws barring people convicted of domestic abuse from buying guns, he shouldn’t have been able to purchase a firearm, but the air force failed to report his charges. But is there a correlation between Kelley’s violent past and this mass murder? Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence has studied these instances.

“We also looked at analysis at what happens during mass shootings,” said Terry. “The study was conducted between 2009 and 2015, was identified that in a mass shooting incident, in 57 percent of those cases the perpetrator had killed either an intimate partner, or another family member. In those analysis of those mass shooters, 15 percent of those perpetrators had a prior domestic violence charge.”

President Trump weighed in from Japan, stating that this was a mental health issue.

“I think that mental health is your problem here,” said President Trump. “This was a, based on preliminary reports, very deranged individual, a lot of problems over a long period of time.”

Terry says that while some people who commit domestic abuse have mental health issues, domestic abuse, and mental health problems do not go hand in hand.

“There are many perpetrators that do not have mental health issues,” said Terry. “What they have are power and control issues. And they will exert and extend every opportunity to maintain that power and control.”

Deborah Tomov, with Family Services of Southeast Texas says to watch out for the warning signs of domestic abuse.

“If your partner makes you feel uncomfortable,” said Tomov. “If they demine you.  If they do it all the time or if they do it just one time.”

Signs that could help you prevent further harm, to yourself and potentially others. 

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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