SAN ANTONIO — A federal judge has rejected a defense request to claims against the U.S. Air Force stemming from a 2017 massacre at a Texas church that left more than two dozen people dead.
Relatives of those killed or injured at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs sued the federal government, arguing the Air Force was negligent by failing to report gunman Devin Kelley’s criminal information to a national database. That database is used to conduct background checks of gun buyers.
Air Force failed four times to prevent the Texas church shooting; DoD IG now reviewing other services
The Air Force could have prevented a former airman from buying a weapon and committing a mass shooting last year had investigators followed proper protocol. Now the Pentagon is reviewing other service's compliance with the law.
The Justice Department argued federal employees should be shielded from the lawsuits. However, U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez ruled Thursday that doesn’t mean the government should be shielded.
A government report last year said the Air Force failed six times to report information that could have prevented Kelley, a former airman, from buying a gun.