Couple who lost EIGHT relatives in Texas church shooting file legal claim with the Air Force claiming it is partly to blame for not reporting shooter's criminal history to the FBI

  • A couple whose son was among eight members of their family killed in a Texas church shooting has filed a legal claim with the US Air Force
  • Joe Holcombe and his wife Claryce say the Air Force's failure to report the gunman's criminal history to the FBI helped cause the November 5 shooting
  • Eight members of the Holcombe family were among the more than two dozen killed in a shooting at a small Texas church in Sutherland Springs
  • The Holcombes' son, Bryan, 60, was killed, as was his wife, Karla Holcombe
  • Bryan and Karla's pregnant daughter-in-law, Crystal, also died alongside three of her five children from a previous marriage - Emily, Megan, and Greg
  • Bryan and Karla's other son, and Crystal's brother-in-law, Marc Daniel 'Danny' Holcombe, died with his infant daughter Noah Holcombe?

A couple whose son was among eight members of one family killed in a Texas church shooting has filed a legal claim with the US Air Force, saying the military branch is partly to blame.

Joe Holcombe and his wife Claryce say the Air Force's failure to report the gunman's criminal history to an FBI database used to check backgrounds of gun buyers helped cause the November 5 shooting in Sutherland Springs that left more than two dozen dead.

They filed the claim Tuesday in their 60-year-old son Bryan Holcombe's death.?It could lead to a lawsuit if the Air Force denies it was at fault.

Joe Holcombe says the Air Force made a 'very serious mistake' and he doesn't want it to happen again.

An Air Force spokeswoman didn't immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

Joe Holcombe (above) says the Air Force's failure to report gunman Devin Patrick Kelley's criminal history to an FBI database used to check backgrounds of gun buyers helped cause the November 5 shooting in Sutherland Springs that left more than two dozen dead
Joe Holcombe says the Air Force's failure to report gunman Devin Patrick Kelley's (above) criminal history to an FBI database used to check backgrounds of gun buyers helped cause the November 5 shooting in Sutherland Springs that left more than two dozen dead

Joe Holcombe (left) says the Air Force's failure to report gunman Devin Patrick Kelley's (right) criminal history to an FBI database used to check backgrounds of gun buyers helped cause the November 5 shooting in Sutherland Springs that left more than two dozen dead

Joe Holcombe and his wife Claryce filed a legal claim against the Air Force on Tuesday. Their son, Bryan (seen left), and his wife, Karla (right), were also gunned down in the church.?Bryan had been standing in for pastor for Frank Pomeroy, and witnesses say he was the first victim to be struck by the shooter's gunfire

Joe Holcombe and his wife Claryce filed a legal claim against the Air Force on Tuesday. Their son, Bryan (seen left), and his wife, Karla (right), were also gunned down in the church.?Bryan had been standing in for pastor for Frank Pomeroy, and witnesses say he was the first victim to be struck by the shooter's gunfire

Bryan and Karla's daughter-in-law, Crystal Holcombe (center), who was eight months pregnant, died in the church shooting alongside her son Greg (far left), daughters Emily and Megan. Her husband, John (far right) survived alongside two of their children.

Bryan and Karla's daughter-in-law, Crystal Holcombe (center), who was eight months pregnant, died in the church shooting alongside her son Greg (far left), daughters Emily and Megan. Her husband, John (far right) survived alongside two of their children.

Sisters Emily (above) and Megan (right) enjoyed baking fun treats with their mother. Crystal recently posted on Facebook about how her girls won a baking contest. Megan is pictured right being presented with the certificate for the contest
Sisters Emily and Megan (above) enjoyed baking fun treats with their mother. Crystal recently posted on Facebook about how her girls won a baking contest. Megan is pictured right being presented with the certificate for the contest

Sisters Emily (left) and Megan (right) enjoyed baking fun treats with their mother. Crystal recently posted on Facebook about how her girls won a baking contest. Megan is pictured right being presented with the certificate for the contest

Greg (right) seemingly loved participating in karate, and his mother and sister Emily also joined him in the activity

Greg (right) seemingly loved participating in karate, and his mother and sister Emily also joined him in the activity

Bryan and Karla's other son, and Crystal's brother-in-law, Marc Daniel 'Danny' Holcombe (above), died with his infant daughter Noah Holcombe?

Bryan and Karla's other son, and Crystal's brother-in-law, Marc Daniel 'Danny' Holcombe (above), died with his infant daughter Noah Holcombe?

Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman,?had a history of domestic violence: He was given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force after pleading guilty to assaulting his first wife and stepson.

Under federal law, anyone convicted of domestic violence cannot purchase a firearm.?

But the Air Force failed to inform federal law enforcement authorities that Kelley had been court-martialed.?

When he tried to buy guns after his release from a military prison, his conviction was not in the database used to conduct background checks, and the purchases went through.

On November 15, three thousand people mourned the eight members of the Holcombe family who were among the more than two dozen killed in the shooting before the funeral procession headed to a cemetery near the site of the massacre.

Surrounding the multicolored caskets, mourners released light pink and blue balloons at a graveside service for the Holcombe family in rural Wilson County.

Church member and survivor John Holcombe had invited the public to attend the funeral of his pregnant wife, Crystal, 36, and three of her children from a previous marriage, Greg Hill, 13, Emily Hill, 11, and Megan Hill, 9; his parents, 60-year-old Bryan and Karla Holcombe, 58; a brother, 36-year-old Marc Holcombe, and Marc's 18-month-old daughter, Noah.?

Fire marshals had to turn hundreds more people away from the services at an events center in Floresville, Texas, about 12 miles from the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, where the November 5 shooting occurred.

News reporters were barred from entering the event center and were being held in a pen with two trucks obscuring the view inside.

The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, began firing into First Baptist Church (above) of Sutherland Springs as Bryan Holcombe, an assistant pastor, ascended to the pulpit. Walking up and down the center aisle, Kelley killed 25 people at the church, including crying babies at point-blank range, according to witness accounts

The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, began firing into First Baptist Church (above) of Sutherland Springs as Bryan Holcombe, an assistant pastor, ascended to the pulpit. Walking up and down the center aisle, Kelley killed 25 people at the church, including crying babies at point-blank range, according to witness accounts

In an earlier Facebook post, John Holcombe thanked friends and well-wishers for their support, adding: 'Please continue to pray for us.'

Kelley began firing into First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs as Bryan Holcombe, an assistant pastor, ascended to the pulpit.

Walking up and down the center aisle, Kelley killed 25 people at the church, including crying babies at point-blank range, according to witness accounts.

Balloons are released at a graveside service on November 15 for members of the Holcombe family who were killed in the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church shooting

Balloons are released at a graveside service on November 15 for members of the Holcombe family who were killed in the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church shooting

Authorities have put the official toll at 26, because Crystal Holcombe was pregnant.

John Holcombe was managing the church's audio-visual operations at the back of the building when gunfire erupted.?

He and Crystal's 7-year-old daughter Evelyn escaped the barrage. Crystal's eldest child, 14-year-old Philip, had stayed home from church services that day.

After his rampage, Kelley fled in a vehicle parked near the church, pursued by a barefoot observer with an AR assault rifle and another man in a pick-up truck.?

The man with the rifle shot and struck Kelley but authorities say the gunman died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Investigators have said the attack appeared to stem from a domestic dispute Kelley was having with his mother-in-law, a member of the church who wasn't present that day.?

However, among the victims was Lula White, the gunman's wife's 71-year-old grandmother.

In addition to those killed, another 20 people were injured in the shooting.??

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