Family Blames US Air Force for Texas Church Shooting

The Holcombe family has filed a claim against the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Air Force, stating they're responsible for the death of their son in the Sutherland Springs Shooting last month.

JB Holcombe was one of the 26 people killed when a former serviceman, Devin Patrick Kelley, opened fire in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Kelley received a "Bad Conduct Discharge" from the Air Force, after four years of service. He had previously been court-martialed on two charges of domestic assault against his wife and stepson. However, all of that failed to appear on his record, which means he passed the background check in order to obtain weapons, ammunition and body armor used for his deadly massacre.

The Holcombes' lawyer, Rob Ammons, called this a "very unique set of circumstances." In the claim he helped the Holcombes file, he makes the case that the shooting wouldn't have taken place if the Air Force "had followed their own policies."

Part of their claim reads: "Although the shooter undoubtedly 'pulled the trigger' that resulted in the injuries and death of JB Holcombe and others, the failures of the US Air Force, and others, allowed the shooter to purchase, own and/or possess the semiautomatic rifle, ammunition and body armor he used."


The Air Force has 180 days to respond to Ammons about the claim of the Holcombes. If they don't, or if they deny the claim, the family will have the chance to file an official lawsuit. The Pentagon has yet to make a comment.

Photo credit: Getty / Scott Olson