The Slatest

Dayton Shooter Reportedly Suspended From High School for Writing “Hit List” on Wall

A pile of shoes outside Ned Peppers Bar. Yellow police tape hangs across the scene.
The shoes of shooting victims, seen behind Ned Peppers Bar in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday. Megan Jelinger/Getty Images

Connor Betts, a 24-year-old from Bellbrook, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, has been identified as the gunman who opened fire early Sunday morning in the heart of a Dayton nightlife district and killed nine people, including his 22-year-old sister, Megan. Betts was killed by police shortly after the shooting began.

When authorities in Ohio confirmed the identity of the shooter, some who went to high school with him were not surprised. A former classmate, for example, said she quickly thought of Betts as soon as she heard about the shooting. Why? He was reportedly suspended for causing a lockdown after he wrote a “hit list” on a bathroom wall, reports the Dayton Daily News.

“I know he made the list,” she said. “I’m not sure who the names were on there. … He had a plan to shoot up the school.” When asked about the list, Chris Baker, who until recently was principal of the Bellbrook High School, pretty much confirmed the information even though he refused to get into details. “I would not dispute that information,” he said, “but I don’t want to get involved any more than just making that comment.” Betts had enrolled at Sinclair Community College and studied psychology but was not enrolled this summer.

A background check on Betts revealed only two speeding tickets in 2013 and 2014 and no concealed weapons permits. A LinkedIn profile appearing to belong to Betts, which has since been taken down, listed him as an employee at Chipotle Mexican Grill. In his profile, Betts described himself as “Good under pressure. Fast learner. Eager to overachieve.” Brad Howard, who said he knew Betts for almost 20 years, described him as a “nice kid” who kept to himself. “The Connor Betts that I talked to I always got along with well,” he said.

Law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at what appears to be Betts’ family home in Bellbrook Sunday morning. Bellbrook Police Chief Doug Doherty said the family is being treated “as victims” and “we’re being very careful and cautious with them and respecting their wishes as we move forward.”