Police Identify Suspect in Dayton Mass Shooting

August 4, 2019 Updated: August 4, 2019

Police have identified the alleged shooter responsible for killing nine and wounding at least 26 in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

Connor Betts, 24, was identified as the shooter behind the Aug. 4 killing spree in Dayton’s Oregon District, CBS News reported.

Sources told the news outlet that he was from Bellbrook, Ohio, and police were searching his home on Sunday morning.

Police believe there was only one shooter. No motive has been ascribed to him yet.

Other details about the suspect were not revealed.

“Good thing that the police are always down here, every weekend I come down here it’s heavy presence of police just because they know it’s a party scene, they keep it calm down here,” a witness told local news outlets.

“They ended the situation fast,” the man added.

Gunman Wore Body Armor

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said the gunman in the mass shooting in the city’s Oregon District was wearing body armor and used a “.223 high-capacity” firearm during the shooting spree.

“In less than one minute, Dayton first responders neutralized the shooter,” Whaley said during a Sunday morning press conference at the Dayton Convention Center, where authorities have set up a family assistance center. She added that if the police had not responded so quickly, “hundreds of people in the Oregon District could be dead today.”

Whaley added that the gunman carried additional magazines and said investigators have yet to discover a possible motive.

Police, as cited by ABC News, said the shooter had a “long gun.”

At least 26 people are being treated at area hospitals, The Associated Press reported, though no details about their conditions have been released.

Authorities work at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Dayton Police Department cited Whaley in an earlier tweet, saying the mayor called the tragedy “a day we all dread happening.”

Officers ‘Put an End to It Quickly’

Deb Decker, Montgomery County Emergency Services public information officer, was cited by CNN as saying that the shooting occurred as the suspect was making his way toward a bar called Ned Peppers.

Dayton police wrote in a tweet that an active shooter situation began in the Oregon District at 1:22 a.m., but that officers nearby were able to “put an end to it quickly.”

‘Our Hearts Go Out to Everyone Involved’

The Oregon District is a historic neighborhood near downtown Dayton that’s home to entertainment options, including bars, restaurants, and theaters.

As news broke of the shooting, two Oregon District bars—Hole in the Wall and Ned Peppers—wrote on Instagram that their staff was safe.

“All of our staff is safe and our hearts go out to everyone involved as we gather information,” both accounts said.

Nikita Papillon, 23, was across the street at Newcom’s Tavern when the shooting started. She told The Associated Press she saw a girl she had talked to earlier lying outside Ned Peppers Bar.

“She had told me she liked my outfit and thought I was cute, and I told her I liked her outfit and I thought she was cute,” Papillon said. She herself had been to Ned Peppers the night before, describing it as the kind of place “where you don’t have to worry about someone shooting up the place.”

“People my age, we don’t think something like this is going to happen,” she said. “And when it happens, words can’t describe it.”

Bodies are removed from at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Ohio shooting came hours after a young man opened fire in a crowded El Paso, Texas, shopping area, leaving 20 dead and more than two dozen injured. Just days before, on July 28, a 19-year-old shot and killed three people, including two children, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California.

The FBI is assisting with the investigation.

Trump Sends Condolences

President Donald Trump issued condolences in the wake of the Daytona bloodbath.

“The FBI, local and state law enforcement are working together in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio. Information is rapidly being accumulated in Dayton,” the president said in a tweet, adding that “law enforcement was very rapid in both instances.”

Ohio Governor Orders Flags to Fly at Half Staff

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has ordered flags in the state to be lowered “in honor and memory of the victims who lost their lives this morning.”

“Fran and I are absolutely heartbroken over the horrible attack that occurred this morning in Dayton,” DeWine wrote on Twitter. “We join those across Ohio and this country in offering our prayers to victims and their families.”

The governor praised the actions of first responders and law enforcement, saying, “I commend Dayton Police and other first responders for their bravery and quick response to save lives and bring an end to this tragedy.”

In a follow-up tweet, DeWine said he had spoken with Trump regarding the shooting.

“I just spoke with President Trump regarding the Dayton tragedy,” DeWine said. “I expressed my thanks that the FBI has been extremely helpful to law enforcement at this time.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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