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Connor Betts was named by CBS News as the active shooter wearing body armor and a mask who is accused of taking the lives of at least 9 people, wounding many more, in a popular bar and restaurant district in Dayton, Ohio.
CBS News attributed the name to “law enforcement sources” and said Betts is 24 and from Bellbrook, Ohio. According to the network, police were searching his house. On LinkedIn, the suspect described himself as “Extensive customer service experience. Good under pressure. Fast learner. Eager to overachieve.”
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.”
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.”
Ned Peppers wrote on Facebook, “All of our staff is safe and our hearts go out to everyone involved as we gather information.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Were Still Investigating the Motive of Connor Betts, Who Wrote on LinkedIn That He Worked at a Chain Restaurant
Assistant Chief Carper said police are working on identifying the suspect to “see what possible motivation might have been. The suspect was firing a long gun with multiple rounds at the victims.” The Dayton Daily News reports that eyewitnesses to the attack say that the gunman had been refused entry to the bar. Those rumors have not been confirmed. Officials have not said what they believe the motive for the shooting is.
According to a LinkedIn page in his name, Connor Betts was a crew member at Chipotle Mexican Grill starting in 2017 in Centerville, Ohio.
The page says he worked in the crew at a gas station in Centerville for three years from 2014 to 2017.
“I was their go-to guy for anything that needed done – changing lights, painting the walls, covering shifts. Beyond that, I worked the weekend shifts for 3 years – Friday through Sunday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Unfortunately, I started school and Chipotle, and I had to drop Marathon,” he wrote.
He said the convention center was being opened up with resources for family members. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said in an appearance on CNN that the suspect is resident of Montgomery County, the county where Dayton is located.
The active shooter opened fire at Ned Peppers bar in Dayton, Ohio just hours after a gunman in El Paso, Texas shot and killed 20 people at a Walmart. Authorities referred to the Dayton shooting as a “mass casualty incident” on the scanner.
2. The Accused Gunman, Who Wrote That He Was a Psychology Student, Used a High-Capacity Magazine Rifle
The LinkedIn page identifies Betts as a psychology student at Sinclair Community College.
In addition to those who died, at least 16 people are likely wounded, according to Carper.
Miami Valley Hospital spokesperson Terrea Little told MSNBC that the hospital has received 16 victims.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley told the media in a 7 a.m. press conference that the gunman used a .223-caliber high-capacity magazine rifle. Mayor Whaley said the shooter wore a mask covering his face. The mayor added, “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. This is the 250th mass shooting in America. It’s sad that it’s in the city of Dayton.” The suspect was wearing body armor and had extra magazines on him at the time when he was killed.
“We have one with a head wound,” an officer said at another point on the scanner. “We just need all the medics. We need the first medic in Ned Peppers…right now. We’ve got several down,” an officer says. “Shooter is down.”
Daniel Williams wrote on Twitter: “There was an active shooter in the bar i was in tonight. I am told that he had an AR15. (A friend) and I are ok. I am so incredibly heartbroken for those affected by this. I have never been so scared in my life.”
Williams then responded to another person and wrote, “…I’m still not sure exactly what happened. People were piling on top of each other to get out. It’s all a blur. F-cking awful.” The bar has not been confirmed by authorities.
Williams’ friend then tweeted, “We heard gunshots while on the patio.. ran indoors only to be shoved back out because the shots were coming from inside the bar. We ran for our lives and hopped a fence trampling multiple people in the process/hid anywhere we could.”
3. Connor Betts Graduated From Bellbrook High School
According to online records, Connor Betts ran track at Bellbrook High School.
Terrified people flooded social media with accounts.
“Wow could’ve lost my life tonight at Ned peppers, I’m still shaking prayers for the ones who didn’t make it … thanks for reaching out I’m safe 😔” wrote one woman on Facebook. A man told friends on Facebook that he was too “busy trying to survive honestly smh I just know I saw them trying to resuscitate multiple people.”
James Williams, who said he was an eyewitness, wrote, “People this is awful I’ve never seen nothing like this in my whole life.” A video captured heavy gunfire (be aware that the language is very graphic in it.)
Another man wrote: “They just shot up ned peppers while I was in line…. police just killed dude 5 feet in front of me… I can’t go out in this city anymore 💯.” Authorities have not confirmed whether the shooter is dead or how that occurred, though.
Taylor Mayberry wrote, “Me and (friend’s name) made it out of Nedpeppers safe. Scariest thing of my life. Prayers for all of the people who didn’t make it out 😭.”
The Dayton shooting reports, which are preliminary, broke around 2 a.m. on the east coast. “Reports of an active shooter with multiple victims in Dayton so I’m laying in bed listening to scanners and hearing them call for homicide detectives. Is not even been 24 hours… This country has gone mad,” wrote one woman on Twitter.
“If you got fam at Oregon district.. check on them 🙏🏽,” wrote one man on Twitter. “I was on the phone w my boy & gun shots start going off right next to him.. hella rounds smh Dayton is cursed.”
4. Videos From the Scene Captured Heavy Gunfire
“Shots fired! Shots fired!” an officer shouts in archived scanner audio, which you can listen to here. The dispatcher indicates the shooting occurred in the Oregon District. At one point, an officer said on the scanner that it looked like 9 to 10 people were shot.
A graphic video was posted to Facebook showing bodies lying on the sidewalk covered with sheets as uniformed police officers stood guard. “Sad people are not right,” wrote a man named James Williams on Facebook, who posted it, and said he was an eyewitness. “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 he 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. There are at least eight people dead right by the picnic table where I was at on street. A bunch of people was taken to the hospital I don’t know how many this place is a disaster.”
The following different video contains graphic language. The man speaking in it talks about bodies lying on the street and says at least 40 shots were fired.
The Dayton Daily News reported through sources that at least 10 people were dead. The newspaper reported that it was working to confirm accounts from eyewitnesses that a person opened fire after being denied entry to the bar.
5. Police Indicated They Needed ‘Multiple Medics’
Scanner audio painted a terrifying scene as officers found multiple victims at the scene.
“We got shots fired. We got multiple people down. We need multiple medics…We need to shut the whole street down….We think there’s one shooter. He’s down. We’re looking for a second shooter,” says an officer in the audio. (There are often incorrect reports of multiple shooters in the early moments of active shooter incidents, and it was clear that officers were trying to get a handle on a chaotic situation with possibly conflicting early information on that point.)
In a separate video he posted on Facebook, Williams claimed, “We had an active shooter with an AR 15. Came up with an AR 15 with a vest on and ear muffs and just started blowing bullets everywhere…there are casualties everywhere. Outside Ned Peppers, there were at least eight victims. I don’t know how many people they took away from other locations… it’s awful.”
President Donald Trump said in an early-morning tweet on August 4, “God bless the people of El Paso Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio.” In response to the shooting, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that flags in the state would be held at half-mast as a mark of respect for the dead. The governor also said that he had been in contact with President Trump regarding the shooting.