DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Oregon District shooting investigation has finally closed, more than two years after nine people were killed and 27 injured by a gunman on August 4, 2019.
Both the Dayton Police Department and the FBI worked to close this investigation.
Interim Chief Matt Carper released the following statement.
First and foremost, our hearts go out to the victims of the Aug. 4, 2019, attack, to include their family members, friends and loved ones. Like so many other acts of violence that have taken place throughout our country, this too was senseless and unnecessary. These victims and their families will forever be in our thoughts and prayers. I would like to personally thank the officers who took immediate action to stop the violence, undoubtedly preventing further injury and loss of life on a scale that is tough to consider. We also commend the amazing work of the responding officers who walked into unknown danger to transport the wounded, comfort the frightened, and secure a massive crime scene for the important investigation that would follow.
We are grateful to the numerous local, state, and federal agencies, both law enforcement and victim services related, that answered the call and helped during our time of need. We are thankful for our resilient community, which stepped up and offered to help in the healing process in whatever ways they were able. This city will not be defined by one horrible event, instead we were able to define what it means to come together and be Dayton Strong.Matt Carper
The Cincinnati office of the FBI and the Dayton Police Department said the investigation showed the gunman, Connor Betts, acted alone, and was not directed by any organization or aligned with any specific ideological group.
The FBI said they believe Betts’ motivation likely stemmed from a long fascination with mass violence combined with a failure to cope with multiple mental health issues.
According to a release by the FBI, Betts had fantasized about mass shootings, serial killings and murder-suicide for at least a decade leading up to the attack. The FBI believes “bystander fatigue” was the reason these behaviors were not reported earlier.
The FBI defines “bystander fatigue” as the inattention to concerning behaviors seen by people with a close relationship to a person of concern due to prolonged exposure.
The investigation found Betts likely lied about drug use when purchasing the firearm used in the attack. A known associate, Ethan Kollie, helped Betts acquire additional firearm parts as well as body armor and the 100 round magazine used in the attack.
According to the report, Kollie was sentenced to 32 months in prison for illegally possessing certain firearms including the one involved in the Dayton attack, and lying on federal firearms transaction record ATF Form 4473.
Dion Green is a survivor of the attack, but lost his father that night. He said reading the report was difficult.
“It just upsets me just in general, reading through it and hearing all the mental health, suicidal thoughts, wants to hurt people. All of that, it just hurts me reading the whole thing,” Green explained.
While the report claims there was no specific warnings and no indication Betts discussed his plans for the shooting, Green does not understand how no one noticed a change in Betts’ behavior.
“I don’t know how that just went unseen for years. As they said for 10 years. I just don’t understand how that went unseen, especially when that man had those types of thoughts,” Green said.
Green said he was caught off guard and did not know the investigation was coming to an end. He said more questions still need to be answered before he can truly move on.
“My stomach is hurting, it’s churning right now. We still don’t get any closure. It’s just sad, it’s a sad day,” Green said.
As the city continues to recover, Mayor Nan Whaley hopes the conclusion of this investigation is just another step in the healing process.
“It’s really about how we take care of each other, how we lean in to making sure we take care of our mental health as we continue to mourn the loss of nine people and the 27 injured, and the hundreds that were there,” Whaley said.
FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge William Rivers concluded the release with the following statement.
Finding answers for the victims and their families has been a driving motivator each day. From the start, this has been a thorough and deliberate investigation. Due to technical challenges accessing lawfully acquired evidence that was encrypted, this investigation has taken significantly longer than expected. However, we are confident that it has uncovered the key facts and that we have done everything in our ability to provide answers to all those impacted by this horrible attack.William Rivers