Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
Twenty-six people were killed when Kelley opened fire Sunday at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, authorities said. A Glock and a Ruger handgun were discovered inside a Ford Expedition where Kelley's body was found after a chase following the shooting, authorities said, and a Ruger AR-556 rifle was recovered at the church.
Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels, Texas, joined the Air Force after graduating from New Braunfels High School in 2009. He trained at Lackland and Goodfellow Air Force bases in Texas, before reporting to his assignment in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.
He was confined for a year, given a bad conduct discharge and reduced in rank to E-1, or airman basic, Stefanek said.
Kelley's name should have been entered in the National Criminal Information Center, Stefanek said, but the Special Investigations Office at Holloman failed to transmit the domestic violence charges.
That would have alerted whoever sold Kelley his weapons that he was ineligible to own firearms under the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment, which bars anyone convicted of domestic violence — even misdemeanors — from getting access to guns.
The amendment is named for its sponsor, Frank Lautenberg, then a Democratic senator from New Jersey.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, have ordered a "complete review of the Kelley case" by the service's inspector general, Stefanek said.
The Air Force will also review its databases to make sure that records in other cases have been reported correctly — and it has asked the Pentagon to review records and procedures across the Defense Department, she said.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Monday night in a statement that the committee would "conduct rigorous oversight" of the Pentagon inquiry "to ensure that similar mistakes have not occurred and will not occur in the future."
Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the committee, said in a statement that every military branch "needs to investigate to determine if there are systemic issues that result in failure to report information on violent crimes, particularly domestic violence cases."
Alex Johnson is a reporter and editor for NBC News based in Los Angeles.