A photo shows Sutherland Springs church shooter Devin Kelly at a Bernie Sanders campaign rally in 2016.
A photo of a young man at a Bernie Sanders rally has been misidentified as Sutherland Springs church shooter Devin Kelly.
Questions about Devin Patrick Kelly’s motivation for killing 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, emerged immediately after the deadly shooting in November 2017. Without any answers, some social media users filled in the blanks with their own theories or outright lies. And many actively tried to advance the idea that Kelley was a supporter of their political opponents (ie Bernie Sanders).
Claims that a photo shows the Sutherland Springs church shooter at a Bernie Sanders rally emerged against that backdrop, and quickly spread across social media. One Facebook user posted an image of a young man holding a Bernie Sanders campaign sign, and he commented:
Look familiar? It’s the Texas Church Shooter!
The left is trying to bury this picture so they can push their Anti 2nd Amendment Agenda! Share it Everywhere!
The Left’s Ideology is what breeds these killers!
Many Facebook users accepted the post at face value, and angry comments followed.
A quick reverse Google image search reveals that a Getty Images photographer captured the photo outside a Democratic primary debate in Charleston, South Carolina, on January 17, 2016. The man in the photo is not identified in the caption, but a side-by-side comparison of the two men reveals inconsistencies in their appearances. Kelley had green eyes; the Bernie Sanders supporter has brown eyes. Kelley had short, cropped hair; the Sanders supporter has longer, wavy hair. Kelley had a widow’s peak hairline; the Sanders supporter does not.
In the end, claims that a photo shows the Sutherland Springs church shooter at a Bernie Sanders rally don’t check out.
And claims that Kelley’s rampage was motivated by his political views don’t check out, either. The El Paso Police department obtained military records indicting that Kelley “suffered from mental disorders and was a danger to himself, having previously been caught sneaking firearms on the base,” CNN reports. Early reports indicate that mental illness, and not political affiliations, led Kelley’s rampage.
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