Facebook Connor Betts.
Connor Betts was named by police as the body armor-wearing, masked gunman who fatally shot at least 9 people, including his own sister, a tragedy that left at least 27 more injured, in a popular bar and restaurant district in Dayton, Ohio.
Betts was 24 and from Bellbrook, Ohio. Witnesses said he was wearing all black when he opened fire. Betts was killed by police, with six officers firing at least one round, and officials said the carnage might have been even worse were it not for their quick response.
On social media, the suspect’s biography started to emerge. On his Twitter page, reviewed by Heavy, he described himself as “he/him / anime fan / metalhead / leftist / i’m going to hell and i’m not coming back.” He wrote on Twitter 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.” The Greene County Board of Elections lists his party as “Dem.” You can read a roundup of his tweets – which also dealt with Parkland, Florida and 9/11 – here and later in this article. Here’s his tweet on Donald Trump’s election victory:
On LinkedIn, Betts described himself as offering “extensive customer service experience” and described himself as “good under pressure. Fast learner. Eager to overachieve.” But his employment history consisted of service positions, and the warning signs might date to high school, when Betts may have written a hit list on a bathroom wall, WCPO-TV reported. Dayton police initially identified the shooter on Twitter as Conner Betts, but online and social media records give the spelling as Connor. In a press conference, police confirmed the correct spelling was Connor, not Conner. Former high school classmates took to Twitter and Facebook to describe Betts as a bully who liked to scare women.
According to Daily Beast, Betts’ sister, Megan, 22, and an unidentified male “were found shot” near the mass shooting scene. Betts arrived in the Oregon District with his sister and her “companion,” before the shooting, police said. At some point prior to the shooting they separated. Betts’ sister was not the first victim of the shooting, but was one of the initial victims. Police have not said if he was targeting his sister. Her companion was wounded, but not killed, and has talked to police, authorities said.
On Facebook, Megan Betts wrote that she was a “tour Guide at Missoula Smokejumper Visitor Center” who “Studies at Wright State University Department of Biological Sciences.” You can read more about Megan Betts here.
Betts with his mom and sister on his mom’s Facebook page (l) and on the Twitter page (r)
Authorities have now named the 9 deceased victims. In addition to Megan Betts, they are Lois Oglesby, black female, 27; Saeed Saleh, 38, black male; Logan Turner, white male, 30; Nicholas P. Cumer, white male, 25; Thomas J. McNichols, black male, 25; Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis, black female, 36; Monica E. Brickhouse, black female, 39; and Derrick R. Fudge, black male, 57. You can read tributes to the victims here. Heavy has included the victims’ race because that is how the police gave the information out in a press release and press conference.
Megan Betts pictured on her LinkedIn page.
Assistant police chief Matt Carper said in a press conference that, just after 1 a.m., there was an “active shooter situation in the Oregon District…we had one shooter that we are aware of and multiple victims. Right now, the shooter is deceased from gunshot wounds from the responding officers. We have nine victims deceased in addition to that, and we have approximately 16 more victims hospitalized right now in unknown conditions.” Later, the wounded count rose to 27, although some of those people have already been released from the hospital.
Scanner audio – and multiple Twitter reports – indicated the shooting was focused around Ned Peppers. The Ned Peppers’ website describes it as a “traditional western-ish themed bar located right in the heart of the Oregon District in Dayton Ohio.” The Dayton shooting came just hours after the nation was already reeling from a different mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, where at least 20 people died.
Ned Peppers wrote on Facebook, “All of our staff is safe and our hearts go out to everyone involved as we gather information.” In a midday press conference on August 4, the governor offered “great sympathy” for the victims and their families. “It’s the type of tragedy you pray never comes to your state.” The governor praised the quick actions of the officers who “ended this tragedy,” saying that they “undoubtedly saved many, many lives. We will never know how many lives were saved…The assailant was obviously close to being able to kill dozens and dozens of more people.”
The police chief said that the deaths would likely have been much higher if the shooter had gotten inside the bar.