Police stopped the Dayton shooter in less than 30 seconds

As a high school student, the gunman in the Dayton, Ohio, massacre had a "kill list" of classmates he wanted to kill or hurt, according to four former students who said they were told by school officials they were on the list.

Posted: Aug 5, 2019 7:20 AM
Updated: Aug 5, 2019 7:20 AM

Surveillance video shows the chaos unfold in Dayton, Ohio, as a shooter targets people out on a Saturday night in the Oregon District.

As gunshots ring out, people start to run, ducking into bars and clubs.

Large groups pour into open doorways, escaping the shots that riddle the street.

Within seconds, the shooter is brought to his knees by police right before he's able to enter a nightclub that is full of people fleeing from his rampage.

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl says his officers heard the gunshots, saw people fleeing and immediately ran toward danger.

They were patrolling the area as bars started to close when the shooting began.

"The officers immediately advanced toward the gunfire and within approximately 20 seconds, they engaged the suspect, who was actively firing and attempting to enter a crowded liquor establishment," the police chief said.

The suspected shooter, identified as Connor Betts, was able to fire dozens of shots with a .223-caliber high capacity rifle with 100-round drum magazines, Biehl said during a press conference.

Nine people died and 27 others were injured in the shooting.

Police are still reviewing information but so far, there isn't anything that indicates a political or racial motivation.

It could have been worse

Betts fired round after round from his rifle as he headed toward a bar called Ned Peppers around 1 a.m. Sunday, according to Deb Decker, public information officer for Montgomery County.

The suspected shooter donned a mask, a bulletproof vest and hearing protection, police said.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley emphasized that the death toll was the result of only a few seconds of shooting.

"I really want to -- think about that minute. The shooter was able to kill nine people and injure 26 in less than a minute," Whaley said. "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."

Surveillance video released by the police department shows Betts struggle as he turns a corner and attempts to enter a bar where dozens of people sought refuge from him.

The suspect falls to the ground before his rampage has even reached the one minute mark.

"The threat was neutralized at approximately 30 seconds of the suspect firing his first shot," Biehl said.

Nine people killed

The city of Dayton identified the nine people killed in the shooting:

-- Lois L. Oglesby, 27

-- Megan K. Betts, 22, the shooter's sister

-- Saeed Saleh, 38

-- Derrick R. Fudge, 57

-- Logan M. Turner, 30

-- Nicholas P. Cumer, 25

-- Thomas J. McNichols, 25

-- Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis, 36

-- Monica E. Brickhouse, 39

Donna Johnson, aunt of Thomas McNichols spoke to CNN at a vigil Sunday. She said the father of four was a gentle giant who had lots of love.

Nine people remained hospitalized Sunday evening, hospital officials said.

His sister is among the dead

Megan Betts, the sister of the suspect, was one of the nine people killed.

Police did not provide information about the Betts siblings' relationship, although they did say that the two arrived together but separated at some point.

Biehl said the shooter killed his sister and wounded his male companion. Authorities do not believe the male companion, who had driven to the scene with the shooter and his sister, had advance knowledge of the attack, two law enforcement sources tell CNN.

Bellbrook Police Chief Doug Doherty said he has been in touch with Betts' parents, who are not ready to talk about the deaths of their two children.

"They are victims, and we're treating that as such -- them as victims," he said, according to CNN affiliate WLWT.

The motive is unclear

Police are still trying to figure out what motivated Betts to shoot and kill nine people as bars let out in the Oregon District.

So far, they haven't found anything that indicates why Betts chose that area to target.

Local and federal law enforcement sources searched Betts' family home in Bellbrook, a suburb southeast of Dayton and uncovered writings that were linked to the shooter, two law enforcement sources told CNN.

Although those writing express an interest in killing people, they do not indicate any racial or political motive, sources said.

"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," Biehl said.

However, Biehl said, no evidence has been found to suggest a bias motive.

Assistant Police Chief Matt Carper said any speculation of motive at this point would be premature.

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