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White Settlement church shooter had long criminal history — so how did he get a gun?

Kaley Johnson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in News & Features

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The man who shot and killed two people inside a White Settlement church on Dec. 29 had a history of erratic behavior.

Keith Kinnunen, who was from River Oaks, faced a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon in Fort Worth in 2008.

In 2012, he was accused of using tampons and lamp oil to set a cotton field on fire in Oklahoma.

That same year, his ex-wife filed for a protective order against him, saying he was a "violent, paranoid person with a long line of assault and battery with and without firearms."

He was arrested in New Jersey in 2016 when authorities said they found him holding a shotgun and taking photos of an oil refinery.

And yet, he walked into West Freeway Church of Christ with a shotgun, prompting many to ask why he was able to have a firearm in the first place.


When asked if Kinnunen was able to purchase a gun in Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety said it could not comment while the investigation was ongoing.

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms special agent said the organization traced the gun Kinnunen used in the church shooting, but could not provide further details until the investigation is complete.

Federal and state law prohibits certain people from buying guns, such as convicted felons.

Kinnunen does not have any felony convictions. While his assault and arson charges were originally felonies, both were prosecuted as misdemeanors.


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