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Police: Ohio gunman who killed 9 was stopped in 30 seconds

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    Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple 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)

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    In this image made from video provided by Jeff Oaks, emergency workers and an unidentified person, left, tend to an injured person on the sidewalk after a deadly shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. A gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in a popular entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens of others before he was quickly slain by police, city officials said. (Jeff Oaks via AP)

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    Residents comfort each other as they await word on whether they know any of the victims of a mass shooting on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth)

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    Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting including Ned Peppers bar, 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)

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    Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple 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)

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    Authorities retrieve evidence markers at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple 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)

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    Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting including Ned Peppers bar, 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)

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    Authorities work the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A 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)

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    Dayton mayor Nan Whaley and police Lt. Col. Matt Carper give the latest update on the mass shooting during a news conference at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (Sam Greene/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

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    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)

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    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)

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    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)

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    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)

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    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)

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    Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting including Ned Peppers bar, 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)

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    An American Red Cross disaster relief vehicle sits outside the Dayton Convention Center, where families of victims were asked to check in Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, for news about their loved ones in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth)

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    Authorities remove bloody rags and debris at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple 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)

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    Authorities remove bloody rags and debris at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple 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)

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    Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple 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)

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    Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple 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)

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    In this image made from video provided by Jeff Oaks, first responders help walk an injured person after a deadly shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. A gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in a popular entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens of others before he was quickly slain by police, city officials said. (Jeff Oaks via AP)

Published August 04. 2019 07:32PM

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in a popular entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said.

Connor Betts, 24, was armed with a .223-caliber rifle with magazines capable of holding at least 100 rounds of ammunition and squeezed off dozens of shots before he was gunned down no more than 30 seconds after his rampage began, Police Chief Richard Biehl said.

Surveillance video shared by police showed officers shot Betts at the doorstep of further destruction, just stopping him from entering a bar where some people took cover when the chaos broke out around 1 a.m. in the historic Oregon District.

Had he gotten inside the bar, the result would have been “catastrophic,” Biehl said.

It was the second U.S. mass shooting in less than 24 hours, and no motive has been explained.

Betts’ 22-year-old sister Megan was the youngest of the dead — all killed in a nightlife spot of bars, restaurants and theaters that is considered a safe area downtown, police said.

The gunman was white and six of the nine killed were black, police said. Although they’ll investigate the possibility of a hate crime, they said the quickness of the rampage made any discrimination in the shooting seem unlikely.

They identified the other dead as Monica Brickhouse, 39; Nicholas Cumer, 25; Derrick Fudge, 57; Thomas McNichols, 25; Lois Oglesby, 27; Saeed Saleh, 38; Logan Turner, 30; and Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis, 36.

Mayor Nan Whaley said at least 27 more people were treated for injuries, and at least 15 of those have been released. Several more were in serious or critical condition, hospital officials said at a news conference Sunday morning. Some suffered multiple gunshot wounds and others were injured as they fled, the officials said.

Betts was from Bellbrook, southeast of Dayton. Bellbrook Police Chief Doug Doherty said he and his officers weren’t aware of any history of violence by Betts, including during high school, and had no previous contact with him.

Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools also confirmed Betts graduated in 2013 but didn’t immediately release information about his records.

Brad Howard said he went to school with Betts and had known him for two decades.

“The Connor Betts that I knew was a nice kid,” Howard said. “The Connor Betts that I talked to I always got along with well.”

More recently, Betts was taking college classes and working at an eatery. Sinclair Community College confirmed he attended there and studied psychology but wasn’t enrolled this summer. Chipotle confirmed he worked at one of its restaurants but released no other details.

Police blocked access in Betts’ neighborhood, where neighbor Stephen Cournoyer said he often saw Betts mowing the lawn or walking the dog.

“He seemed like a good kid,” Cournoyer said. “He wasn’t a speed demon, didn’t do anything crazy. But that’s not to say, I mean, obviously he had an issue.”

Nikita Papillon, 23, was across the street at Newcom’s Tavern when the shooting started. She said she saw a girl she had talked to earlier lying outside Ned Peppers bar, where Betts was slain at the entrance.

“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.”

Tianycia Leonard, 28, was in the back, smoking, at Newcom’s. She heard “loud thumps” that she initially thought was someone pounding on a dumpster.

“It was so noisy, but then you could tell it was gunshots and there was a lot of rounds,” Leonard said.

Staff of an Oregon District bar called Ned Peppers said in a Facebook post that they were left shaken and confused by the shooting. The bar said a bouncer was treated for shrapnel wounds.

A message seeking further comment was left with staff.

President Donald Trump was briefed on the shooting and praised law enforcement’s speedy response in a tweet Sunday. The FBI is assisting with the investigation.

Gov. Mike DeWine visited the scene after earlier ordering that flags in Ohio remain at half-staff.

DeWine, a Republican, said policymakers must now consider: “Is there anything we can do in the future to make sure something like this does not happen?”

Both of Ohio’s two U.S. senators visited the scene of the mass shooting. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said responding with thoughts and prayers wasn’t enough and stronger gun safety laws are needed. Republican Sen. Rob Portman said the discussion must include not just policy changes, but issues such as mental health supports.

Whaley said more than 50 other mayors also have reached out to her.

A family assistance center was set up at the Dayton Convention Center, where people seeking information on victims arrived in a steady trickle throughout the morning, many in their Sunday best, others looking bedraggled from a sleepless night. Some local pastors were on hand to offer support, as were comfort dogs.

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.

Sunday’s shooting in Dayton is the 22nd mass killing of 2019 in the U.S., according to the AP/USA Today/Northeastern University mass murder database that tracks homicides where four or more people were killed — not including the offender. The 20 mass killings in the U.S. in 2019 that preceded this weekend claimed 96 lives.

Whaley said the Oregon District has reopened, and a vigil is planned Sunday evening. The minor league Dayton Dragons who play in nearby Fifth Third Field postponed their Sunday afternoon game against the Lake County Captains “due to this morning’s tragic event.”

The shooting in Dayton comes after the area was heavily damaged when tornadoes swept through western Ohio in late May, destroying or damaging hundreds of homes and businesses.

“Dayton has been through a lot already this year, and I continue to be amazed by the grit and resiliency of our community,” Whaley said.

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This story has been corrected to say the shooting took place around 1 a.m., not 1:22 a.m., per a police update.

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Associated Press writers Julie Carr Smyth in Dayton, Michael Balsamo in Orlando, Florida. and Kantele Franko in Columbus contributed.

Comments
Joe, weapons should be kept out of the hands of crazy people. Whenever crazy people get their hands on objects that can injure other people bad things happen. Crazy people must be kept away from every threatening thing from butter knives to Chevy Tahoes. The misdirection of your outrage is revealed as you do not exhibit any desire to control the pushing by manufacturers like Chevrolet. You have tremendous gaps in knowledge and understanding. The villain is not the manufacturers of weapons, it is the criminal who acquired it through illegal means. Guns are precious and must be treated properly at all times. They must be secured when not in use & not allowed to fall in the hands of unstable people. Some who post crazy stuff on this TN site should be denied access to weapons. You, Joe, jump to peculiar conclusions that frame all gun manufacturers before an investigation has even begun. You display a bias against guns that clearly indicates you have had little or no experience with them. I would be curious to see just what is your weapons training history? If you know little about something, perhaps, you should withhold an opinion until you learn. Yea, right!
Joe you hate President Trump so much you would destroy America just to get him. I stated that weapons are precious. You twisted and built a false narrative that I didn’t care about the victims. Here is an example of your jumping to false conclusions. I took it as common knowledge that all would understand that lives are precious, that is why I didn’t mention it. You don’t even know me, yet you attempt to undermine my thoughts. You are wrong because you have tremendous gaps in knowledge and understanding. You, Joe, are hard-headed, dogmatic and biased. That is the difference between us.
Your posting comments over these tragic events has a glow towards celebratory gloating. Just saying, as I know how you lack reading comprehension. Perhaps you should slow down Joe. You're an embarrassment to mankind.
President Trump is a puppet for no one. You underestimate him tremendously if you think he is. You should be smart enough to know that you always know where you stand with President Trump. You should also see that you are not going to strong arm him either. You are fully wrong. This is why Trump will be re-elected.
Joe, you hate President Trump so much you have a twisted perspective. President Obama had a terrible record on many things. Unfortunately, Obama is still tone deaf and does not realize his time has passed. Now, Obama goes out there on stage as a community organizer, ex-President to criticize the current President. It is another Obama display of low character. As a failed President, Obama should hide under a rock of embarrassment or tour Europe. Thank God for President Trump. It will take him years to correct the mistakes of the failed Obama/Biden mess. Just wait to see who ordered the FBI to plant spies into the Trump campaign. POTUS wants to know everything- Atty Lisa Page.
Obama should not speak out of respect for the office of the President of the United States. As of now, only 45 people have ever held that rarified status. President Obama now joins President Carter in a blatant disrespect of America by lacking in character, dignity, & class by doing this to President Trump. Of course, any President, or any citizen, is free to say whatever they want. You would think a former President would appreciate and understand the ramifications of being sabotaged by a peer. However, James Carter & Barrak Obama apparently are as tone deaf to proper protocol as they were incompetent as President. After a failed Presidency, Obama should take a several year tour of Europe and take up pottery instead of throwing down America, he did enough of that already.
You, little Joey are condescending to President Trump with this. You are a hard-headed hater that developed warped judgement. So, a guy walks into your business with a MAGA hat on, how much extra should he pay for that? Cheating Trump supporters is fun, right? If only you could ruin property with Trump signs on it, right? You don’t like it so it is ok to damage their mailbox, right? Hey, if you can get one over on Trump or his minions, all the better. If you could kick a “Trumpie’s” dog in the ribs, that serves them right. Little Joey you are a crooked businessman that uses hatred of President Trump to justify retaliation against the world. You live to “stick it to Trump.”

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