While relations remain strained between the United States and Russia, President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, felt it necessary to send an important message to President Trump this week. The Twitter feed that is run by the Russian Embassy posted a tweet which explained that President Putin wrote a letter offering his deepest condolences to President Trump following the Texas church massacre. The statement read, “Please, accept my condolences over the tragedy that has occurred in Texas. It is difficult to imagine a crueler and more cynical crime than the killing of people during a church service.”
The New York Daily News wrote about the horrific massacre that took place on Sunday at First Baptist Church in Texas. The shooter, Devin Kelley, entered the Sutherland Springs church wearing a bulletproof vest, a skull-faced mask, and began shooting a Ruger AR-556 assault rifle at anyone and everyone he saw.
This sick man sprayed bullets down on churchgoers. It is estimated that he shot off 450 bullets into the crowd. The tragedy left 26 innocent people dead, while at least another 20 are wounded. This is one of the worst shootings Texas has ever seen. Following the attack, Kelley fled the church, but he didn’t get very far before a neighbor confronted him. Stephen Willeford came at Kelley wielding his own rifle. Willeford shot Kelley in the leg and torso before Kelley made his way to his car and left the scene.
Willeford was joined by a second good samaritan. The two chased Kelley, and the high speed pursuit ended when Kelley crashed his vehicle. Authorities suspect that Kelley then killed himself by shooting himself.
Texas Public Safety Department’s Freeman Martin was unable to give a definite answer as to why Kelley decided to commit such a vicious attack. He did suggest that it could have possibly been the end result of a domestic dispute between Kelley and his own in-laws.
Martin stated, “We know there was conflict between the families and whether that was revenge or not would be speculation on my part.”
The shooter’s past has a laundry list of violent assault and domestic disputes. It was reported that he purposely strayed away from his previous faith in God. Back in 2012, Kelley was charged through court-martial with two counts of domestic assault. One of these counts ended in Kelley beating his stepson (who was an infant at the time) so violently that his skull was cracked open.
This horrific tragedy left 26 innocent people dead. People and organizations from all over our country are working together to help victims and their families at this time. News 4 Antonio reported that the H-E-B grocery store chain made an announcement that they would be donating $150,000 to help all of the families that were affected by the mass shooting.
Vice President of Public Affairs, Diversity & Environmental Affairs for H-E-B, Winell Herron, explained “H-E-B is committed to providing assistance during times of crisis. Our hearts reach out to all at this tragic, painful time. It is our hope that H-E-B’s donations, along with our loyal customers’ support, will help our neighbors in Sutherland Springs. This is a difficult situation for many as they grieve and face unimaginable loss.”
While relations aren’t perfect between the United States and Russia, it was touching to see that Vladimir Putin reached out to President Trump regarding the horrifying attack.
ABC News reported that President Trump explained that investigators would have all of his administration’s support. He also explained, “Our hearts are broken but in dark times — and these are dark times — such as these, Americans do what they do best.”
We ban together as a nation to recover from this horrific tragedy and work on preventing more of its kind.