Mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio – In the second mass shooting in less than 15 hours, at least nine people were killed and 27 injured in 30 seconds early on Sunday after a gunman in body armor and wielding an AK-47-style assault rifle opened fire in downtown Dayton, Ohio, according to police.
The suspected shooter, identified by police as 24-year-old Connor Stephen Betts, allegedly carried out the massacre with a .223-caliber rifle that he legally purchased and had two drum magazines that had 100 rounds of ammunition combined, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
The Dayton shooter wore a mask, bulletproof vest and hearing protection as he opened fire, police chief says. He was killed by police within 30 seconds of opening fire on Sunday.
“The officers immediately advanced toward the gunfire and within approximately 20 seconds, they engaged the suspect, who was actively firing and attempting to enter a crowded liquor establishment,” the police chief said.
“The threat was neutralized at approximately 30 seconds of the suspect firing his first shot,” Biehl said.
The chief said Dayton police officers were patrolling the bustling area of bars and restaurants when they heard the first shots erupt at 1:05 a.m.
He said 30 seconds after the gunman fired the first shots, he was killed by an officer in front of the Ned Peppers bar.
Biehl said the suspect was attempting to get into Ned Peppers when he was gunned down.
“Had this individual made it through the doorway of Ned Peppers, there would have been catastrophic injury and loss of life,” Biehl said.
He added it was too early to say what the motive for the shooting was.
“Any suggestion at this time on motive would be irresponsible,” Biehl said.
The officers were not injured but twenty-seven other people were injured when Connor Betts, 24, fired dozens of shots. The motive remained unclear.
Police recovered the rifle that was used in the shooting, Biehl said. It was ordered online from Texas but transferred to the suspect at a local firearms dealer, the police chief said. Authorities also found a shotgun in the shooter’s 2007 Toyota Corolla, which was parked nearby. That weapon was acquired from a separate local firearms dealer, Biehl said.
“There’s nothing in this individual’s history or record that would have precluded him from purchasing that firearm,” Biehl said.
Police confirmed Sunday afternoon, the suspected gunman’s 22-year-old sister is among those shot to death. Betts, his sister and a male companion had arrived in the same vehicle but they separated at some point in the evening, the police chief said. Police are trying to determine the shooter’s whereabouts after he and his sister separated.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump expressed their condolences Sunday afternoon, speaking to reporters on the tarmac of the Morristown Airport in New Jersey before he and the first lady flew back to Washington on Air Force One.
“Hate has no place in our country,” Trump said. “We have done much more than most administrations, not talked about very much but we have done actually a lot. But perhaps more has to be done. This is also a mental illness, if you look at both of these cases, this is mental illness, these are really people that are very seriously mentally ill.”
The president ignored questions on whether he thought white supremacy played a role in either mass shooting.
Trump said he plans to make a statement on the shootings at 10 a.m. on Monday.
Shooter’s Background Story
The man who killed nine people Sunday morning in Dayton’s Oregon District was once kicked out of Bellbrook High School for making a list of girls he wanted to kill, the Dayton Daily News learned in interviews with former classmates and school administrators.
Connor Betts, 24, was shot and killed by Dayton police, ending a brief yet deadly rampage in which he killed his sister, eight others and injured 27.
Police said they haven’t yet established a motive for Sunday’s massacre. But acquaintances say the warning signs — signs of the shooter’s unusual obsession with killing and death — cropped up long ago.