• U.S.
  • Crime

Texas Church Shooter Contacted His Father Before He Died, Officials Say

2 minute read

Devin Kelley, the 26-year-old who gunned down dozens of people inside a Texas church, contacted his father to tell him he was wounded and wasn’t “going to make it” before he apparently took his own life, officials said Monday.

Kelley died from what authorities believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he opened fire inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and injuring 20 others Sunday. The deceased victims ranged in age between 18 months and 77 years, officials said.

Wearing all-black tactical gear and a ballistic vest, Kelley “moved around freely” inside the house of worship, officials said at a news conference, citing a video recording authorities have obtained. His rampage began about 11:20 a.m.

Kelley’s motive is still unclear. But officials said he had domestic issues with his in-laws and had sent “threatening” text messages to his mother-in-law, who attended the church. “We know he expressed anger toward his mother-in-law,” said Freeman Martin, a regional director of the Texas Department of Safety.

After shooting up the church, Kelley exchanged gunfire with a neighbor who intervened. The neighbor shot Kelley at least once before the suspect got into his truck and fled the scene. The neighbor flagged down another Good Samaritan. Both gave chase to Kelley, who eventually lost control of his own vehicle while traveling at least 95 mph and went into a ditch.

Authorities say the suspect “notified his father that he had been shot and didn’t think he was going to make it.” After the car wreck, evidence indicates Kelley then fatally shot himself, although an autopsy will determine his official cause of death, officials said.

Kelley did not have a license to carry, authorities said. Officials recovered three firearms, including two handguns from his vehicle.

Of the 20 people wounded, 10 are in critical condition, officials said.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com