DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – United States Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (D-OH), as well as Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) and State Rep. Phil Plummer were in Dayton Sunday afternoon to tour the site of the Oregon District mass shooting and speak to the community.
Sens. Brown and Portman took a tour of the area with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and other city officials.
“We did walk down to the Oregon District and we saw what has been a thriving commercial section of the city and saw lots of great small businesses,” Sen. Portman said. “We also saw workers in Haz-Mat suits, EMS personnel, who were having to clean up the blood off the sidewalk from the tragedy last night.”
Both senators praised the response of first responders, who arrived to the scene and neutralized the suspect within one minute of the first shot.
“I so appreciate especially the police and the fire and the rescue operations, how quickly the police officers on the scene so courageously stood up and did the right thing and saved literally, potentially hundreds of lives with the amount of the ammunition the shooter had and how quickly they responded and what a short period of time between the first shot and the last shot,” Sen. Brown said. “So it really does tell me a lot about local public servants, police, fire, and rescue operations we had.”
Sen. Brown called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) bring Congress back from recess and pass a bill to expand background checks, among other ways to curb gun violence in the United States.
“We certainly pray for the victims and care about the victims, but Congress needs to do something,” Sen. Brown said.
Sen. Portman said that the mental health crisis in the country needs to be addressed.
“If you look at the mental health crisis in our country today, there aren’t enough laws and in fact no law can correct some of the more fundamental cultural problems in our country,” Portman said. “The shooting last night is an indication of that.”
Sen. Portman noted how he has seen the Miami Valley come together through a difficult year, including the response from the KKK rally to the Memorial Day tornado outbreak.
“We’ve also seen the community respond as they will for the victims for the mothers and fathers and sons and daughters who were struck down last night and those who were injured,” Sen. Portman said. “I’m impressed with what I’ve seen as how this community comes together and responds. We saw it last night with these brave police officers who in the face of danger ran straight into it. This courage was extraordinary and saved lives, probably hundreds of lives.”
Rep. Turner, whose daughter was in the Oregon District at the time of the shooting, also gave praise to Mayor Nan Whaley and the Dayton Police Department in their response to the shooting.
“It was extraordinary they were able to respond so quickly,” Rep. Turner said.”As a result of the police’s actions, my daughter and hundreds others who were down in the Oregon District last night are alive and are safe today.”
State Rep. Phil Plummer said he was proud of the first responders after touring the scene of the shooting.
“They answered the call, they ran towards the gunfire,” State Rep. Plummer said. “When you’re up against weapons like that, it’s tough on those guys and they made the call and took care of business.”