A mother of four who used herself as a human shield during Sunday’s brutal shooting inside a Sutherland Springs Texas church, has died from her injuries.
Joann Ward pushed her 9-year-old daughter to the floor when the shooting started, and covered her other children with her own body.
Ward’s heroic act also saved the lives of her daughter Rihanna and her 5-year-old son Ryland, who was shot 5 times.
According to a friend of the Ward family, the little boy was shot five times and has already undergone multiple surgeries.
Unfortunately, Ward’s 5-year old daughter Brooke died at the scene. Her other daughter, 7-year-old Emily died in hospital from her injuries.
The identity of the gunman has now been released as Devin Patrick Kelley, who entered the church and started firing and if it was not for the brave actions of a fellow church goer, the death toll would’ve been much higher.
Kelley was confronted by a worshiper who had a gun of his own and fled, leaving the scene in a pearl-coloured SUV only to be found dead in his vehicle by police a few hours later.
Upon a search of his vehicle, police located additional weapons but have not stated what type they were.
More information is now being released pertaining to Kelley as police try to figure out why he would take a gun into a church and open fire for no reason.
We now know that Kelley was discharged from the US Airforce after being court martialed for abusing his wife and young son.
It has also been made public that Kelley had been sending threatening texts to his mother-in-law, who was a regular worshiper at the Sutherland Springs church.
A family GoFundMe page has been set up in the memory of the Ward family.