Judge finds U.S. government 60% responsible in 2017 Texas church mass shooting

(Reuters) – A federal judge found the U.S. government 60% responsible for harm caused to victims of a 2017 mass shooting at a Texas church where 26 people died.

U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez ruled on Tuesday that the government failed to exercise reasonable care in allowing the shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, to obtain firearms he used in the Nov. 5, 2017, massacre at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Rodriguez said Kelley had pleaded guilty in 2012 to domestic violence charges dating from his time in the Air Force, but the Air Force did not record his criminal history in a federal database used to flag unauthorized firearms purchases.

“The government failed to exercise reasonable care in its undertaking to submit criminal history to the FBI,” the judge wrote. He ordered lawyers for the government and victims to file a proposed plan to bring individual damages cases to trial.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)