Danielle Shields-Kelley is the wife of Devin Patrick Kelley, who was identified as the shooter who walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday and killed at least 26 people while wounding about 20 more.
In a heroic move, authorities say an unidentified citizen in the church “grabbed his rifle and confronted the suspect,” who was armed with a “Ruger AR assault type rifle.” The same citizen reportedly pursued the suspect, who subsequently crashed and was found dead in his vehicle. “We don’t know if it was a self inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by our local resident who engaged him with gunfire,” authorities said. The atrocity is the largest mass shooting in Texas history.
While not a lot of information has been revealed about Danielle, we do know that the two were married and had two children together. A source described the gunman to Heavy as an “angry and antisocial” person who was not accepted by his wife’s family.
Danielle’s past, as well as social media accounts, show a loving person who adored her children.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Source Told Heavy Danielle & the 2 Children Are Safe, & Described Kelley as ‘Arrogant,’ a ‘Jerk’
According to Texas marriage license records, Kelley was married to Danielle Shields on April 4, 2014 in Comal County. Kelley was 23 at the time of the marriage, and Shields was 19. He was the father of at least two, a son and a daughter.
A source close to the family told Heavy that Danielle and her children are safe following the attack.
Public records show 26-year-old Kelley was a resident of New Braunfels, a city near San Antonio. Those records also indicate that the shooter’s family was from the same town.
The man reportedly lived in his parent’s $1 million home, according to the New York Times.
An older Facebook page for Danielle reveals that she resided in Sutherland Springs. It has not been confirmed if the two were separated or having marital problems, however, a source told Heavy that the woman’s family didn’t approve of Kelley. The person, who did not want to be identified, stated:
…[Danielle’s] family didn’t approve of him because of his lack of respect for everyone he encountered…he was awful to be around. Everything about him from the way he spoke to people from his lack of respect. He was rude and uncouth and had a very short fuse…he came from a great family but I guess that didn’t matter. He was weird and narcissistic. An angry person and anti-social…he was an awful person. He was just arrogant and honestly a jerk.
2. Her Mother Attended First Baptist Church & Received Threatening Texts From Kelley
Michelle Fields, Kelley’s mother-in-law, has a P.O. box listed in Sutherland Springs, and her Facebook profile also indicates that she lives in the same town.
Christopher Combs, the FBI Agent in charge stated the following, which you can watch in the above news conference:
It’s a senseless crime but we can tell you there was a domestic situation going on within this family. The suspect’s mother-in-law had attended this church. We know that he had made threatening texts from him, and we can’t go into details about that domestic situation that is continuing to be vetted and thoroughly investigated…this was not racially motivated, it wasn’t over religious beliefs…there was a domestic situation going on with the family and in-laws.
Michelle is Facebook friends with the wife of the pastor, Sherri Pomeroy, indicating the family had strong ties to the church. The Pomeroy’s lost their daughter in the tragedy, as reported by The Boston Herald.
“My husband and I were ironically out of town in two different states,” Pomeroy told the Herald in a text. “We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends.”
3. Her Work Experience Shows a Love for Children & Volunteering
According to a profile on Indeed.com, Shield’s was a “teacher for toddlers” at First Baptist of Sutherland Springs from June of 2009 to March of 2013. Her responsibilities included teaching the children about God, helping with “their life stones that are needed,” and being a “positive influence in their life,” the page stated.
The page also said Shields was once a coach for Special Olympics and a behavioral leader in the past, and that she volunteered with the elderly. “Visit with the elderly, sing old hymns, write down their life story, help the elderly with life stones needed, make them feel loved,” the volunteer description reads.
4. She Was Always Smiling & Appeared Bubbly in Social Media Photos
Social media accounts show a smiling, happy woman who dotes on her children and friends.
A profile for the woman on Indeed.com describes a passionate woman whose highest values include being “honest, trustworthy and courteous to all persons.” Under a section where the website states she was a coach for Special Olympics from 2007-2013, it reads:
I provided the fairest and most positive training and competitive experience for every Special Olympics athlete.
The coach must, above all, exhibit respect for the athletes, other coaches, volunteers, families and Games officials.
As a coach, my attitude toward sports and competition will directly affect
my athletes.• I must have positive interpersonal
relationships, uphold the highest values and be honest, trustworthy and courteous to all persons at all levels of the
As a coach i accepted responsibility for the behavior my athletes both in
and out of the competitive arena while attending a Special Olympics event.
As a coach realization that the Special Olympics experience is not limited to
competition. As a coach I would focus on the lifelong benefits the athlete
5. The Shooter Wasn’t Believed to Be a Member of the Church
The San Antonio Express-News reported that “Kelley wasn’t believed to be a member of First Baptist Church, but had ties to the church through family members.”
The sheriff revealed on November 6 that Danielle’s parents, despite their ties to the church, were not there when the shooting unfolded. His wife’s whereabouts had not been reported. Danielle was Facebook friends with members of the pastor’s family and the Holcombes.