Families of church shooting victims considering lawsuit against Air Force
SAN ANTONIO (SBG San Antonio) -- Some families are considering filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force following an error that allowed the shooter to buy guns.
The shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs left 26 people dead and more than two dozen other injured.
Attorney Thomas J. Henry held a news conference Tuesday concerning the shooting. Henry first expressed condolences for the family and friends of the victims killed and injured in the church shooting. He stated he has received inquiries from several individuals concerning the matter and that he and others were now calling for steps to be taken to ensure a tragedy like the Sutherland Springs shooting never happens again.
Henry brought up the fact that Devin Kelley, the man accused of carrying out the mass shooting, had been court-martialed for family violence but that his criminal record had not been properly reported, which would have prevented Kelley from purchasing weapons.
He told reporters that he and others want to make sure the government conducts an in-depth analysis of the incident and wants a Blue Ribbon Committee, which is Senate committee tasked to investigate alleged wrongdoings of the government, to work with the government to make sure all incidences such as Kelley's conviction, have been reported. He stated he intends to help put full pressure on the government to determine "now" exactly what is missing from the database used to grant or deny gun purchases, not at some unspecified later date.
Henry said he has received inquiries from several individuals but has not filed any lawsuits in connection with the shooting. He explained that a federal claim would need to be filed before a lawsuit is brought against the government. He pointed out that the government frequently claims it is exempt in many of the cases but said this incident does not involve any "discretionary matter" but instead involves a legally-declared mandate to report crimes.
He then stressed that this is a good time for the government to reach out the surviving victims and the families of the victims killed in the shooting to help them recover, including financially. He stated an attorney really shouldn't have to get involved, but that he would if necessary.