A man with no criminal record was the driving force behind a mass shooting at a Texas church
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A man suspected of killing at least three people at a Southern Baptist church is the driving factor behind a shooting rampage that left three others dead and injured a sixth.
A suspect named as Joseph A. Wilson, 53, has been charged with three counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Authorities say Wilson used a rifle and handgun during the rampage that began at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, a Texas town where he grew up, and ended in a parking lot where he killed his wife, father-in-law and five others.
The shooter is identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, who had no criminal history before the shooting.
Police say the gunman was wearing a body armor vest, which they say was a vest similar to the one he used to shoot at the church.
“I think he was more of a vigilante than a criminal,” said Lt.
Mike Edmonson of the Texas Rangers, which is leading the investigation.
“He wanted to get his revenge on the Sutherland Springs people.”
Authorities have not said how many people were killed, but officials have said the victims ranged in age from 18 to 83.
Kelley was the father of three of the victims, according to authorities.
He was also the brother of a woman who was killed in the shooting and was believed to have carried a concealed weapon, according the Dallas Morning News.
A third woman was wounded in the attack and is expected to survive.
Authorities said Kelley has been living with mental illness.
They were not identifying the woman, but said she was in stable condition.
Edmonsons said the motive behind the attack was unclear and he urged people not to share information about the investigation online.
“We have not seen any evidence of any sort of motive for this attack,” he said.
“That is something we will look at and take note of when we get further information.”
Kelley was a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, the state’s flagship university, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering in 2008.
He had been employed at the university since August 2016, according a university statement.
Edmondsons said Kelley worked at the school’s Advanced Technology Center for three years before becoming a professor in electrical and computer engineering.
Edmondsons said a computer technician was at the building at the time of the shooting, and a security guard had been at the same building as Kelley.
He said investigators were looking into the possibility that Kelley and another person could have been in the building when the shooting occurred.
The facility, which also houses the university’s communications center, has a large collection of firearms, including handguns, and was a target of several recent mass shootings, including the December 2016 shooting at the University in Colorado Springs.
“The security guard was in there and he heard a single shot,” Edmondson said.
Authorities also say Kelley had been a regular visitor to the campus and the campus library before the massacre.
“At this time, we have no information about a connection to the school, but we will be closely following this investigation and will work with the authorities in any way we can,” the university said in a statement.
Authorities were also looking into Kelley’s possible connection to other shootings in Texas and elsewhere.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A man suspected of killing at least three people at a Southern Baptist church is the driving factor behind a…