UPDATE: Family says woman killed in church shooting shielded grandson

Photo: ZUMA Press
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SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — 4:35 p.m.

One of the people killed when a gunman opened fire at a small-town Texas church was a 56-year-old Sunday school teacher who relatives say threw herself in front of her 18-year-old grandson.

And after Peggy Warden was fatally shot, her grandson turned and helped shield a small child who'd been hiding under a pew.

Warden's brother Jimmy Stevens says the grandson, Zach Poston, described what happened from the hospital.

More than two dozen people were killed and about 20 injured in Sunday's shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

Stevens says Poston had already been shot when he saw a child was trying to get out from under a pew. That's when he shoved the child back under with his leg. Poston says it's his understanding that the child survived.

4:15 p.m.

The top U.S. Air Force official is publicly acknowledging for the first time that the domestic abuse charges for which the Texas church shooter was court martialed in 2012 should have been reported to the FBI.

The Air Force had previously said that Devin P. Kelley's conviction was not submitted to the FBI for entry into its National Criminal Information Center database, but it left open the question of whether it was obliged to do so.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters that because Kelley's criminal history data was not submitted as required, the Air Force launched a "full-scale review" of his case and others like it.

Air Force Gen. David Goldfein said 12 of the 26 people killed in the church had ties to the Air Force.

11:50 a.m.

The father of the man Texas authorities say opened fire on a small-town church, killing more than two dozen people, says his family is grieving.

Michael Kelley is the father of shooter Devin Patrick Kelley. He spoke to ABC News Wednesday from his home in New Braunfels, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of the community of Sutherland Springs where Sunday's shooting happened. Authorities say the younger Kelley died from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being shot and chased by two residents when he was leaving the church.

Kelley's father says he doesn't want the "media circus" surrounding the massacre to destroy "our lives, our grandchildren's lives."

Kelley's family has been silent since the shooting. A motive remains unclear, but Kelley appears to have targeted a church that was long attended by his wife's family.


11 a.m.

The pastor of a small-town Texas church that was the site of a massacre plans to demolish the building.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy told leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention that it would be too painful to continue using First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs as a place of worship. A national Southern Baptist Convention spokesman said Pomeroy discussed the plan this week with the denomination's top executives who had traveled to the community in a show of support.

The spokesman, Sing Oldham, said Pomeroy expressed hope he could turn the site into a memorial for the more than two dozen people who were killed last Sunday and build a new church on property the church owns.


12:10 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a memorial service for the victims of Sunday's massacre at a small-town Texas church.

Pence told the crowd Wednesday evening that the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs was the worst mass shooting at a church in American history and called the gunman "deranged."

Abbott began the service by praying "for healing and for help." He also proclaimed Tuesday a statewide day of prayer.

Authorities say Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 in the attack, including the unborn baby of one of the women slain.

Apple released a statement saying it has offered the FBI technical advice after learning the bureau was trying to access Kelley's cellphone. The company says the FBI has not requested its assistance.