Devin Kelley held gun to ex-wife’s head over traffic ticket


The Texas church shooter’s first wife broke her silence Friday to detail the horrific abuse she suffered at the hands of Devin Kelley, who once held a gun to her head over a speeding ticket.

Four years before Kelley killed 25 people and an unborn child at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, he admitted to choking, kicking and pulling Tessa Brennaman’s hair, along with fracturing the skull of her two-year-old son.

Brennaman, speaking to Inside Edition, said Kelley threatened to kill her and her whole family.

He once flew into a rage over a speeding ticket, according to the 25-year-old, who said, “He had a gun in his holster...and he took that gun out, and he put it to my template and he told me, ‘Do you want to die? Do you want to die?’”

“He just had a lot of demons or hatred inside of him," said Brennaman.

Brennaman and Kelley divorced in 2012, after less than two years of marriage.

Kelley, who was convicted of assaulting Brennaman and her son while serving in the U.S. Air Force, was confined for 12 months before he received a bad-conduct discharge in 2014.

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What we know about Texas church shooting suspect Devin Kelley
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What we know about Texas church shooting suspect Devin Kelley

Devin Patrick Kelley is accused of killing more than two dozen people in a shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

(Texas Department of Safety/Handout via REUTERS)

The 26-year-old live in this home in New Braunfels, Texas.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman)

He was a member of the U.S. Air Force before discharged and court-martialed for reportedly assault his first wife and child.

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Officials said Kelley was involved in a domestic dispute with the family of  a woman he married in 2014.

(Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

He worked at Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort.

(Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

Kelley used an AR-556 rifle and wore tactical gear during the attack, according to authorities.

(Photo Illustration by George Frey/Getty Images)

Two ex-girlfriends told NBC News that Kelley stalked them after breakups.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Devin Patrick Kelley attended high school at New Braunfels High School.

(Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

Authorities said Kelley called his father during the chase to say he had been shot and might not survive. He was later found dead in his vehicle. 

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A former schoolmate of Kelley told Reuters that he shared posts on Facebook about atheism and his assault weapon in recent years.

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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While that alone wouldn’t have barred him from buying a gun, the Air Force failed to report the court martial convictions to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Investigation Services Division, allowing him to pass background checks to buy guns.

On Nov. 5, Kelley burst into the church about 35 miles from his home in New Braunfels, killing 26 people and injuring about another 20 before he shot himself in the head while he was pursued by two bystanders.

A motive for the mass shooting remains unclear, but Kelley appears to have targeted a church that was long attended by his second wife Danielle Shield’s family.

Leading up to the shooting, authorities say, Kelley had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law. Among the victims was Shield’s grandmother Lula Woicinski White.

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Some of the victims of the Texas church shooting
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Some of the victims of the Texas church shooting
Haley Krueger was described as a beautiful and vibrant girl who had dreams of becoming a NICU nurse, according to a GoFundMe set up in her memory. She was 16. 

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Annabelle Pomeroy was the daughter of the pastor of the First Baptist Church. Both of her parents were out of town at the time of shooting. She was 14 years old. 

(Photo via Facebook)

Eight members of the same family were killed in the shooting, including Crystal Holcombe, who was pregnant. Three of her kids and her unborn child were also killed.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Megan Hill, 9

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Gregory Hill, 13

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Emily Hill, 11

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Dennis Johnson Sr. and his wife Sara had celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary in July and were members of the church for more than a decade, according to a fundraising page created in their memory.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Bryan Holcombe and his wife Karla Plain Holcombe, were both victims of the mass shooting. Bryan was an associate pastor at the church and was reported'y preparing to lead the congregation in mass when the shooting began.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Tara Elyse McNulty was remembered as a 'sweet, kind and loving woman, mother and daughter' on a GoFundMe page created in her memory. Her kids were reportedly injured in the shooting, but survived. 

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Lula Woicinski White was the gunman's grandmother-in-law. Her sister told the New York Daily News that 'she loved the people in her church. They were all her best friends.' She was 71.

(Photo via Facebook)

Joann Ward reportedly died while trying to use herself as a shield to protect her four young children.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Brooke was killed along with her mother, Joann Ward, and her older sister. She was 5 years old.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Emily Garza, 7

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Shani Corrigan and her husband Robert Corrigan

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Richard Rodriguez attended church every Sunday, according to his daughter. He was 51 years old.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Therese Sagan Rodriguez was killed along with her husband, Richard. She was 66. 
Robert and Karen Marshall were new to Texas and trying out churches when they were killed in Sutherland Springs… https://t.co/vDn9EeYHJA
Peggy Lynn Warden https://t.co/qkj3Vqg0SO #KSATnews https://t.co/XRLt20hg8M
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A resume posted online linked to an email address associated with Danielle Kelley identifies her as a teacher at the church from 2009 to 2013.

Among the responsibilities it listed at the church were to “teach the children about GOD” and “be a positive influence in their life.”

With News Wire Services.

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