Nine people were killed and dozens were injured in a minute-long shooting massacre in Dayton, Ohio on Sunday morning. The gunman, who has not been identified by police, is also dead.
The mass shooting took place in Dayton’s Oregon District, a historic commercial region in the city of 140,000, dense with bars and cafes. The shooter entered a local bar called Ned Peppers at about 1 a.m. — an hour before closing time — wearing body armor and wielding a .223-caliber high capacity magazine, according to local police.
He was quickly killed by responding officers as bargoers hid in the bathroom or fled the packed district on foot.
“I really want to — think about that minute. The shooter was able to kill nine people and injure 26 in less than a minute," Nan Whaley, Dayton’s mayor, said during a news conference Sunday. "And if we did not have police in the Oregon District and the thousands of people in the Oregon District enjoying their Saturday evening, what we could have had in this city."
Ned Peppers said in an Instagram post that all of their workers are safe. Meanwhile, nearby Miami Valley Hospital told the Cincinnati Enquirer that it’s received 16 patients from the shooting, one of whom is in critical condition.
Dayton’s massacre came just hours after 20 people were shot and killed while shopping at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The gunman in that case drove more than 650 miles from his home in Allen, Texas, and may have posted a racist manifesto online just 45 minutes before opening fire. Police have identified the suspect as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius.
CBS News reported from anonymous sources that the Dayton gunman was 24-year-old Connor Betts of nearby Bellbrook, Ohio. The suspect has not yet been named by authorities, however, and police haven’t ascribed a motive to his violent actions. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, described the shooter as a “young, white male” when speaking to CNN, but didn’t offer any further information.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations will work with state and local police to investigate Dayton’s shooting, President Donald Trump said Sunday. The mass shooting took place about 50 miles from the Cincinnati arena where Trump hosted a campaign rally last week.
Dayton most recently made national headlines for a small KKK rally that gathered there in late May. In that instance, City Manager Shelley Dickstein justified nearly shelling out nearly $650,000 for additional security at the rally due to Ohio’s weak gun laws. (Ohio’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine, once earned an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association for supporting some gun control measures, but was ultimately endorsed this past election over his Democratic opponent.)
“Some may be critical of this investment,” Dickstein told the local Dayton Daily News in May. “Unfortunately in today’s world where individuals are free to open carry unlimited numbers of guns and where we have seen vehicles driven into crowds of peaceful protesters, we feel this investment was necessary.”
As Whaley described Sunday morning, Dayton’s Oregon District was filled with uniformed patrol officers before the shooting began, averting an even bigger tragedy. Additionally, the bar staffed multiple security guards.
Speaking the the Cincinnati Enquirer, one unnamed guard wiped tears from his eyes as he told reporters “I tried, I tried.”
Emma Ockerman contributed reporting.Cover: Bodies are removed from at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)