(WFLA/AP) – Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman who killed 26 people at a Texas church once claimed that he used dogs for “target practice,” one of his former Air Force colleagues told CNN.
“He would make jokes about wanting to kill somebody,” Jessika Edwards said. “And we would say, ‘Wait, that’s not funny.’”
Edwards told CNN she worked with Kelley for two years at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico before he was discharged for bad conduct in 2012.
Kelley said she and Edwards connected on Facebook two years later, and he told her he was buying animals on Craigslist to kill them.
Edwards never found out if that was true, but decided the morbid admission was enough for her cut off contact, CNN reported.
She also discussed Kelley’s fascination with mass murders, particularly the 2015 shooting in Charleston, South Carolina in which Dylan Roof killed nine black churchgoers during a Bible study.
“He would say ‘Isn’t it cool? Did you watch the news?’” Edwards said. “He would say he wished he had the nerve to do it, but all he would be able to do is kill animals.”
In August 2014, Kelley was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. A neighbor accused Kelley of punching a dog several times. Another neighbor said Kelley grabbed the young husky, threw it into the air, then onto the ground and dragged it to his camper. He pled guilty, but got off by paying fees.
Kelley also has a history of domestic violence. Kelley was accused of choking his wife, pulling her hair and kicking her. He also hit the child on the head and body, according to the documents. The Air Force’s former chief prosecutor, Don Christensen, told The New York Times that Kelley fractured the child’s skull.
Kelley also was accused of pointing a loaded firearm and an unloaded firearm at the woman, according to the court-martial documents, but he pleaded not guilty to those allegations and they were “withdrawn and dismissed with prejudice after arraignment.”