In an emotional interview, the ex-wife of the gunman in a church shooting said she was sorry about what happened, and she’s glad he was stopped.
The attacker in the fatal incident was identified as Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43. Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety say he opened fire Sunday at the West Freeway Church of Christ. He killed two churchgoers: Anton Wallace, 64, and River Oaks man Richard White, 67, according to a statement obtained by Law&Crime. A third man, church member Jack Wilson, has been credited with stopping Kinnunen. He said he fired one shot at the shooter.
By all accounts, it was a surprise attack, with witnesses saying the shooter entered church in a disguise. Kinnunen’s criminal record dates back years, with arrests in multiple states for charges like unlawful possession of a weapon, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Officials described the shooter as “relatively transient.”
His ex-wife Angela Holloway detailed a very fraught relationship. She said they divorced in 2010, and she claimed he’d dealt with drug abuse.
“It’s hard,” she told Fox 4 News in an emotional interview published Tuesday. “Its hard on all of us, and the only thing I can just tell them numerous times, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” She added, “We tried to encourage him. He’s popped in and out of our lives for years. He’s kept in contact with my oldest son, my two younger kids, and everybody kept telling him, ‘You need to get right. You need to do right.'”
Relatives and the family of the shooter said he dealt with mental illness. They also described him as religious.
“He was a religious fanatic,” sister Amy Dawn Kinnunen told The New York Times. “He went off on me just because I smoked cigarettes.” She said he became very religious when their younger brother died from a oxycodone overdose in 2009.
Despite this history, however, Keith Kinnunen’s relationship with the West Freeway Church of Christ was allegedly strained in the time leading to the shooting. Senior Minister Britt Farmer said that he, as a representative of the church, had previously helped Kinnunen with food, but the shooter got angry when denied money.
[Image via West Freeway Church of Christ via Stewart F. House/Getty Images]