A gunman wearing body armor and carrying additional magazines opened fire at a popular nightlife district of Dayton, Ohio, Sunday morning, killing nine people and injuring 27 others. At least 15 of those who were treated for injuries had been released by Sunday afternoon. Police responded quickly to the shooting that began at around 1 a.m. on the streets of the Oregon District and shot and killed the gunman, who is believed to have acted alone. It marked the second mass shooting of the weekend in the United States, taking place just 13 hours after a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday and killed at least 20 people.
The shooter, who wore some sort of mask that covered his face, has been identified as Connor Betts, 24. His sister, 22-year-old Megan, was among the dead and was killed around the same area as all the other victims. Authorities said that if it wasn’t for the quick action of law enforcement officers, many more people could have been killed by the shooter, who used a .223-caliber high-capacity magazine rifle. “If the Dayton police had not gotten to the shooter in under a minute, hundreds of people in the Oregon District would be dead today,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said. Dayton Police Lt. Col. Matt Carper agreed with the mayor’s assessment, noting there was “a very short timeline of violence” because officers were already patrolling the area. “We’re very fortunate for that,” he said. “We had officers in the immediate vicinity when this shooting began and were able to respond and put an end to it quickly.” Police said that “thousands of people” would normally be in the area on a summer weekend night.
Witnesses said the shooting took place outside or near Ned Peppers Bar. The Dayton Daily News cites a Facebook post by James Williams: “Sad people are not right. I’m safe. Happened right in front of the patio where I was sitting in front of Neds. The guy in front of Ned Peppers’ door is the active shooter.” Williams went on to write that the gunman “tried to go into the bar but did not make it through the door. Someone took the gun from him and he got shot and is dead.”
President Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting early Sunday morning, writing that law enforcement agencies are cooperating in both El Paso and Dayton. “The FBI, local and state law enforcement are working together in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio. Information is rapidly being accumulated in Dayton,” Trump wrote. “Much has already be learned in El Paso. Law enforcement was very rapid in both instances. Updates will be given throughout the day!” He then sent condolences to the two cities in one tweet: “God bless the people of El Paso Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated with new information as it becomes available.