Was the Texas church shooter a member of Antifa? Many people are wondering if Devin Patrick Kelley was a member of the anti-fascism (hence, Antifa) group that’s been the subject of many news briefings since the Charlottesville white nationalism protests.
(NOTE: Not familiar with the group? Check out our explainer on what Antifa is and what the group wants.)
Although fake news swirls after any big tragedy, especially those difficult to comprehend because of their violence, we do know some things for certain about Kelley. We know that he opened fire on parishioners attending a Sunday service at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 5. We know that he killed at least 26 people. We know he was wearing all black.
But there are also reports going around that he was holding an Antifa flag during the attack and told the churchgoers “this is a communist revolution.”
One such report wrote that the Texas church shooter “has been identified as Devin Kelley, an Antifa member who vowed to start a civil war by ‘targeting white conservative churches’ and causing anarchy in the United States.”
Antifa United posted to their Facebook group images of the Texas church shooter and the supposed image of their flag, Snopes reports, and were insistent that the image was a fake and that the image was pulled from them and used by some other source to forge a connection between Kelley and the group. The post claims that the “far-right (badly) put together a collage of images/mock up of a FB profile and are claiming the Texas shooter uploaded a picture of his antifa flag.”
The post went on to explain “That's OUR picture. Pulled from our shop website when we had that flag design in stock. The person holding it in the picture is me. The admin of this page. In my office.”
Although Devin Patrick Kelley’s motive is still being pieced together by authorities, these falsified images are not a clue that can help in that and as of now it appears that the Texas church shooter was not, in fact, a member of Antifa.