A mom of two studying to be a nurse, a graduate student learning to care for cancer survivors, and the shooter’s own sister, were among the victims of the Dayton, Ohio, massacre.
Connor Betts, 24, [left], killed nine people when he opened fire on a packed street lined with bars and restaurants around 1 a.m., including his little sister, 22-year-old Megan Betts, his youngest victim, authorities said. It is unclear whether Megan was an intended target, they said. five men and four women ranging in age from 22 to 57 were left dead when Betts was done with his 60 second rampage.
The gunman wearing body armor and carrying a modified handgun and extra magazines carried out his carnage in less than a minute, killing nine people and wounding at least 14 people.
Another 13 people were injured in the scramble to escape gunfire at an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, incidentally, the second US mass shooting in 13 hours, coming within days of a similar incident in Grilo, California, officials said Sunday.
Police responded in less than a minute to the shooting shortly after 1 a.m. putting down the gunman.
Ironically, when the smoke cleared Connor Betts had also shot and killed his younger sister. Megan Betts was an environmental science student at Wright State University and was set to graduate next year, according to her Facebook page.
Dayton shooting victims : L-R, Megan Betts, Logan Turner, Lois Oglesby and Nicholas Cumer
Thomas McNichols, Derrick Fudge, Beatrice Warren-Curtis and Monica Brickhouse
Other victims include 38-year-old Saeed Saleh and Logan Turner, who previously attended the Wright State University, also was killed, authorities said.
“Sweet and smart” Turner had just celebrated his 30th birthday Tuesday and was out with friends at the time of the shooting, his mother, Danita Turner, told WHIO-TV.
“He was very generous and loving and the world’s best son,” she said.
Nursing student Lois Oglesby, 27, left behind a newborn and an older daughter, childhood pal Derasha Merrett told the station.
“She was a wonderful mother, a wonderful person,” Merrett said. “I have cried so much, I can’t cry anymore.”
Nicholas Cumer, 25, a graduate student in Saint Francis University’s Master of Cancer Care program was in town from Pennsylvania for an internship at the Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, a treatment center in Dayton. The center issued a statement that said Cumer, “loved his patients and served them well, with a loving and caring spirit,” Alliance said in a statement.
Victim Megan Betts [photo], the shooter’s younger sister, a 22-year-old college sophomore who came downtown with Connor and another friend before they separated
Another 25-year-old victim Thomas McNichols, was a dad of two girls and two boys ranging in age from 2 to 8. He was remembered by his aunt as a “gentle giant.”
When got off work Saturday, McNichols, a factory worker and his aunt snacked on Twizzlers together before he went out to the Oregon District, where the shooting occurred, with a cousin, she said.
“Everybody loved him. He was like a big kid,” the aunt, Donna Johnson, told the station. “When all of the movies come out — ‘Batman,’ ‘Black Panther’ — he would get all his nephews and take them to the movies.”
The oldest victim, Derrick Fudge, 57, was out with his son Dion Green, his son’s fiancee and several others when he was killed.
“They were all just down there enjoying themselves and had stepped out of, I think, one of the clubs and were in a line to get some food,” said the victim’s sister, Twyla Southall. “His son is very distraught.”
Friends Beatrice ‘Nicole’ Warren-Curtis, 36, and Monica Brickhouse, 39, were out together when they were killed, another woman, Brittany Hart, posted on Facebook.
Heart wrenching scene of shoes belonging to victims [photo], piled behind the Ned Peppers bar after the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio on Sunday
Accident or deliberate? One of the victims killed by Dayton shooter Connor Betts [left], is his younger sister Megan Betts, [right], a 22-year-old college student who just a short while earlier was riding in the same car as her brother
Sunday, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, in the Oregon District, which contains a number of restaurants, bars and theaters, noted that if the police hadn’t responded so quickly, the death toll could have been much higher because thousands of people were on the streets.
“The officers were there less than a minute from the beginning of the shooting. The shooter was able to kill nine people and injure 26 in less than a minute,” Whaley said during a news conference Sunday.
She said the gunman, who has not been identified, wore body armor and used a “.223 high-capacity” rifle and carried extra magazines.
Lt. Col. Matt Carper of the Dayton Police Department said officers were nearby when the shooting started and “neutralized the shooter” in less than one minute.
It appears the Connor Betts acted alone and officials are still seeking a motive for his attack.
In Dayton, witnesses described how the mayhem unfolded after the gunman opened fire at Ned Peppers, a pub in the Oregon District.
“The screams, the cruisers, the chaos, I have never been pushed out of Newcomb’s but the security guards were running around telling people to get out,” Nikita Pappillion told WLTW in Cincinnati.
“Just how everybody was acting you knew something was wrong. When you came outside as soon as you get to front street you see the bodies and you knew that this was different, and you knew it was something that you never thought of experiencing never experienced, wouldn’t want anyone to experience,” the 23-year-old said.
Ohio Gov Mike Dewine is heckled at vigil for victims of Dayton mass shooting
On Sunday night a candlelight vigil for victims of the Dayton shooting rampage turned into an impassioned call for action as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s comments were drowned out by a crowd of mourners chanting, “Do something!”
On Sunday night, hundreds poured into Dayton’s Oregon District, where the shooting occurred early that morning, in the nation’s second mass shooting in a 13-hour span.
“Do something!” the mourners chanted as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine spoke at a vigil held Sunday for victims
DeWine, a Republican, began his comments by pointing out the size of the crowd gathered at the vigil, saying that the teeming streets represented “the love and resiliency of this great and wonderful community,” WCMH reported.
Moments later, the chanting began — with a single voice yelling, “Do something!” It soon became a rallying cry, with more and more people joining in.
But DeWine continued speaking.
“What we do tonight, with this amazing crowd, is to say to [the victims and families], ‘We love you,’” he said, according to the station. “‘We care very, very deeply about you, and we will do everything that we can to tell you that we care.’”
The chants slightly died down, but did not completely stop. When Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley took the microphone, they were back in full force, the outlet reported. She let them go on for a few seconds, but then tried to calm the crowd.
“I love you all, but remember this is a vigil tonight,” Whaley said. “This is a vigil for the people that we lost.”
The mayor added, “There will be time to take action, but let us come together as a community as we work to heal. We are here to heal tonight.”