Sunday’s mass shooting at a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was motivated at least in part by a domestic conflict between the gunman and his wife’s family, authorities there said. The gunman, Devin Kelley, killed 26 people and wounded at least 20 more. But the massacre was not the only church shooting to occur that day.
About an hour before Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, another domestic shooting at a church 1,300 miles away left two people dead.
Around 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Manuel Garcia, 64, shot his estranged wife and her boyfriend after they left Mass at St. Alphonsus Church in Fresno, California. Officers found Martha Garcia, 61, dead between two cars in the church parking lot. Her boyfriend, Raul Herrera, 51, had been seriously wounded and died in the hospital that evening. Both had been shot in the head and chest, the Fresno Bee reported.
Parishioners streaming out of Sunday Mass “were really scared,” the Reverend Dominic Rajappa told the Bee.
Martha Garcia had filed for divorce a month ago after 43 years of marriage. The Garcias still lived in the same home, but since their separation Martha Garcia had begun dating Herrera.
Soon after the shooting, Manuel Garcia texted the couple’s daughter confessing to the killing, and drove to the family home and committed suicide.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the double murder-suicide was triggered by jealousy. Police said the Garcias had no history of domestic violence.
The .45-caliber handgun Garcia used in the shootings was legally owned and registered to him.