Saturday, September 30, 2023



Carnage at Texas church has ties to RV resort

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

The mass shooting at a Texas church last Sunday has brought another disturbing tremor to American life. When Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 people and wounded 20 more, it seemed unimaginable to many that a house of worship could be the scene of such unholy carnage.

Some 35 miles away from the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Devin Kelley’s coworkers hadn’t given much thought as to why he hadn’t shown up for work in New Braunfels. Perhaps it was because he was a relatively new hire, having worked at his job for but five weeks. It’s possible you may have met the man who exploded so violently. How? Devin Kelley worked at Summit Vacation and RV Resort.

Summit Vacation & RV Resort

The resort sits on 100-plus acres of prime Texas Hill Country with 100 RV sites. It could be properly described as a “destination resort” with the amenities it offers: three swimming pools, basketball courts, fly fishing, or simply relaxing on the Guadalupe River. Summit Vacation rightly bills itself as a “family destination.”

According to information from the Washington Post, Kelley was employed by the resort as a security guard, although his duties weren’t simply limited to locking up swimming pool gates and clubhouse doors at 10 p.m. every night of his shift. If guests arrived late, it was Kelley’s job to check them in and make them feel welcome.

Devin Kelley, courtesy Texas Dept. of Public Safety

In an interview with the Post, the park manager, Claudia Varjabedian, said there just wasn’t much to be said about anything that Devon Kelley did on the job that raised attention. Park management had a background check run on Mr. Kelley prior to hiring him – the report came back clean. She said his work performance was satisfactory, and the only comments that park customers had about him were usually to do with just how quiet a man he was.

Sadly, that quietness gave way to something far more deadly when he opened fire on the churchgoers last Sunday. What drives someone to such senseless acts? We reached out to managers at Summit Vacation and RV Resort to see if we could learn more about Devin Kelley’s personality and are waiting to hear back from them.



Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.


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