Police In Dayton Identify Names Of Victims And Shooter

Aug 4, 2019
Originally published on August 4, 2019 6:36 pm
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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now to Dayton, Ohio, to get the latest from there. Reporter Jess Mador from member station WYSO has been following this story.

Welcome, Jess. Thanks for joining us.

JESS MADOR, BYLINE: Thank you.

MARTIN: And the police have identified the shooter in this case also. What can you tell us about him?

MADOR: What we know so far is that his name is Connor Betts. He's 24. Police say he's white, and he is from a suburb, small city south of Dayton. Police say he was wearing body armor, a tactical vest and a facemask, when the shooting happened. He came prepared. We know he shot dozens of rounds and used two guns, but one was left in the vehicle. He used an assault rifle in the actual shooting. Police described it as an AR-15-like assault rifle with high-capacity magazines that can fire up to 100 rounds. They say they believe he ordered it online, and it was transferred to him to pick up in person through a firearms dealer here.

And nothing in his history would have prevented him from buying that gun, and the purchase itself was not illegal. They say they believe he made modifications to the weapon but had no details to offer at that time. And so far, they say he was not known to police before this shooting, so they are continuing to look into what his motive might have been. And here is some of what chief - Police Chief Richard Biehl had to say this afternoon.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

RICHARD BIEHL: Once again, to reiterate, we are very, very early into this investigation. Any suggestion at this time of motive would be irresponsible. We do not have sufficient information to answer the question that everyone wants to know - why? We do not have that answer at this time.

MARTIN: Well, one thing we do know, though, is that one of the victims includes his sister, Megan Betts, and a friend. Can you tell us anything about that and the other victims?

MADOR: Right. What we know so far is that, you know, police are still continuing to piece this sequence of events together. But what they said is that they believe the sister arrived with the shooter in the same car with another friend. And they're not sure yet what might have led to that sequence of events before they arrived and the shooting occurred.

MARTIN: And I understand that we've been seeing - political leaders in the area have been talking to the media. As briefly as you can, can you just summarize what they're saying today?

MADOR: Right. We've heard from a number of politicians from across the - you know, the left and the right, including Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown and Republican Senator Rob Portman and Republican Congressman Mike Turner, whose own daughter was actually out in that Oregon District last night. They all called for a bipartisan conversation on guns and mental health and how to stop shootings like this. But they offered few details so far on what that conversation could look like.

MARTIN: That was reporter Jess Mador from member station WYSO in Dayton, Ohio.

Jess, thank you so much for joining us.

MADOR: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.