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Texas shooter previously charged with animal cruelty in El Paso - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Texas shooter previously charged with animal cruelty in El Paso County

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

The man suspected of killing 26 people and injuring about 20 more at a Texas church had previously been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty in Colorado Springs in 2014.

Devin Patrick Kelley was cited on Aug. 1, 2014 for animal cruelty, a charge that which was later dismissed in March 2016. 

Documents released by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office show a witness reported a man tackling a husky and punching the dog multiple times with a closed fist at an RV park along Colorado Avenue. The witness said the man "grabbed the dog by the neck and drug him away."

Three other witnesses in the area also said they saw Kelley holding down the dog and punching it with a closed fist multiple times. One witness said he saw the man pick the dog up by the neck and throw it to the ground.

When deputies arrived at a camper lot where Kelley resided, deputies said he refused to come out at first, but eventually talked to deputies. Kelley said the dog ran out of his camper and did not come back. Deputies said Kelley told them that he did not hit the animal and that the dog was acting aggressive toward another dog in the area.

He also denied picking up the dog by the neck and throwing to the ground.

Deputies said they looked at the dog and noticed it was underweight, but the dog "did not appear to have obvious signs of injuries."

The responding deputy wrote that Kelley was placed under arrest and charged with animal cruelty. He was later released and given a summons.

Authorities took the dog to a local emergency vet, and was later given to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.

Court records show Kelley was given a deferred probationary sentence and was ordered to pay $368 in restitution. The charge was dismissed in March 2016 after Kelley completed his sentence.

Texas authorities said Kelley had a history of domestic violence and had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law who attended the church. Law enforcement officials in Texas said the shooting stemmed from a domestic situation and was not motivated by race or religion.

Authorities said evidence at the scene leads them to believe that Devin Patrick Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he crashed his car. He had been chased by armed bystanders.

They said Kelley also used his cellphone to tell his father that he had been shot and didn't think he would survive.

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