When a gunman opened fire on people out for a good time in a Dayton, Ohio's Oregon entertainment district early Sunday morning, police responded with extraordinary speed and courage.
Although nine people were killed. Multiple Dayton police officers carrying pistols and at least one rifle ran toward the gunfire and shot and killed the suspect 30 seconds after he fired his first round, according to local authorities. Surveillance video of the incident shows the gunman attempted to enter a crowded bar. He fell mortally wounded as officers fired at him from a number of positions.
"While this is a terribly sad day for our city, I'm amazed by the quick response of the Dayton Police that saved literally hundreds of lives," Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley told Cincinnati.com. Nine people were killed in the attack, not counting the suspect, 14 were wounded, and 13 people were injured, mostly trampled in the panic.
The gunman used a .223 caliber rifle with a 100-round magazine, the New York Post reports. He also wore body armor.
At a press conference on Monday, police said the gunman in the Oregon District shooting could have had a maximum of 250 rounds in his possession if all his magazines were at capacity.
Biehl said police found at least 41 spent shell casings at the scene, Cincinnati.com reports.
Police have identified the gunman as 24-year-old Connor Betts of Bellbrook, Ohio. One of the nine people he is suspected of murdering is his sister Megan Betts. He also reportedly shot her male companion and there are reports the gunman was out with the couple before the shooting. Police are not sure he was targeting the sister.
A motive has not been established for the attack.
Heavy.com reports that Betts was a self-described “leftist,” who wrote that he would happily vote for Democrat Elizabeth Warren, praised Satan, was upset about the 2016 presidential election results, and added, “I want socialism, and I’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding.”
He also reportedly tweeted some contradictory messages about legal gun ownership in the United States. “This is America: Guns on every corner, guns in every house, no freedom but that to kill,” he wrote in December 2018. And, “’Tis! The pistol is a Beretta 93R, called the REK7 in BO4. Do love me some guns!” He also wrote, “Hammer, brick, gun.” On Feb. 14, 2018, he tweeted this at Sen. Rob Portman: “@robportman hey rob. How much did they pay you to look the other way? 17 kids are dead. If not now, when?” That was the date of the mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida, Heavy.com reports.
Heavy confirmed the Twitter page through multiple verification factors, including a matching tattoo on both a page selfie and prominent news outlets’ pictures of Connor Betts; several family linkages to the page; similar photos, including of him and the family dog, on the page and family members’ verified accounts, including its name; and references to college and growing up in Ohio and Dayton.