Judge finds U.S. government 60% responsible in 2017 Texas church mass shooting

(Reuters) – A federal judge found the U.S. government 60% responsible for harm caused to victims of a 2017 mass shooting at a Texas church where 26 people died.

U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez ruled on Tuesday that the government failed to exercise reasonable care in allowing the shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, to obtain firearms he used in the Nov. 5, 2017, massacre at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Rodriguez said Kelley had pleaded guilty in 2012 to domestic violence charges dating from his time in the Air Force, but the Air Force did not record his criminal history in a federal database used to flag unauthorized firearms purchases.

“The government failed to exercise reasonable care in its undertaking to submit criminal history to the FBI,” the judge wrote. He ordered lawyers for the government and victims to file a proposed plan to bring individual damages cases to trial.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Multiple deaths in shooting at Texas church, gunman dead

The area around a site of a mass shooting is taped out in Sutherland Springs, Texas, U.S., November 5, 2017, in this picture obtained via social media.

(Reuters) – A gunman entered a church in a small town in southeast Texas on Sunday and began firing, resulting in “multiple” fatalities and injuries, local media reported, citing the county authorities.

The gunman was killed after fleeing in a vehicle from the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, about 40 miles (65 km) east of San Antonio, local media said, citing police.

Sheriff Joe Tackitt told the Wilson County News that there have been multiple injuries and fatalities, including children. It was not clear how many people have been killed or wounded.

The Wilson County Texas Sheriff’s Office declined to provide Reuters with further details on the shooting.

About 860 people live in the Sutherland Springs area in 2010, according to the U.S. Census.

Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other law enforcement agencies were either on the scene or traveling there.

President Donald Trump said he was monitoring the situation while in Japan on a 12-day Asian trip.

“May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene,” he said on Twitter.

In October, a gunman killed 58 people at a concert in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history



(Reporting by Frank McGurty in New York and Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)