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Texas family sues US government after mass shooting

AFP  |  Chicago 

A family that lost three generations at a church mass shooting in November filed a lawsuit today against the US government, claiming it could have prevented the gunman from legally acquiring firearms.

Devin Patrick Kelley, who had a history of domestic abuse and mental health problems, killed 26 people and wounded 20 others at the First in Sutherland Springs,

The victims included one-year-old and his aunt 36-year-old Crystal Holcombe, who was pregnant and died along with three of her five children. In all, the Holcombe family counted nine members who perished in the attack.

The lawsuit was filed by Joe and Claryce Holcombe, who are in their mid-80s and lost their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Kelley had legally purchased weapons even though convicted felons are usually not allowed to own guns. Licensed sellers are supposed to check national databases prior to completing a purchase.

But Kelley was able to slip through the background check system, because the had not reported his two domestic violence convictions from five years earlier.

"The utterly careless and reckless failures of the to satisfy their reporting obligations... resulted in numerous missed opportunities for various local law enforcement agencies to prevent further violence by Kelley," the lawsuit claimed.

Kelley -- killed by an armed bystander who engaged him in a firefight -- was convicted by court-martial in 2012 of two charges of assault against his wife and stepson, and received a bad conduct discharge from the in 2014.

In a subsequent review, the Air Force found dozens of other cases in which criminal convictions had not been properly reported to

The Pentagon's revealed in December that an evaluation of military police across all the services found that they often failed to update a federal database with the fingerprints and outcomes of military criminal convictions.

The did not immediately return a request for comment regarding the lawsuit.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 04:41 IST