DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — On the third anniversary of the Oregon District shooting, we remember the victims and their loved ones who continue to be impacted by this senseless tragedy.
August 4, 2019
What began as a carefree Sunday morning quickly erupted into violent gunfire in one of Dayton’s most popular entertainment districts.
At 1:05 a.m. on August 4, 2019, a gunman emerged through an alley next to Blind Bob’s and opened fire on Fifth Street in the Oregon District before being shot by officers near the entrance of the Ned Peppers Bar.
According to police, officers patrolling the Oregon District during bar closing time heard gunfire and saw a large crowd running away.
Police immediately ran toward the gunfire and found the shooter. Police said he was actively firing and attempting to enter the bar. The 24-year-old gunman was fatally shot by police at 1:06 a.m. before making it inside.
Despite a swift and effective police response, irreversible damage had already been done. Nine people were killed and 27 others were hurt in the rampage.
The gunman’s 22-year-old sister, Megan Betts, was the youngest of the dead — all killed in a nightlife spot of bars, restaurants and theaters that is considered a safe area downtown, police said.
Remembering the Victims
Lois Oglesby, 27
Lois Oglesby, 27, left behind two young daughters, a 7-year-old and a 2-month-old.
Lois was a nursing student who was on maternity leave. The night of the shooting was her first night out since having her second child.
Her mother, Saundra James, and Lois’ boyfriend rushed to the scene, but she died before they arrived.
Lois’ final moments were spent talking about her children, according to several witness reports.
“Babe, I just got shot in my head. I need to get to my kids,” Lois said in her FaceTime call to Dee Lee, the father of her children, he recounted.
Megan Betts, 22
Not many of the people living on Brookshire Drive knew the Betts family very well, but one young woman who went to school with Megan remembers her fondly.
“I haven’t talked to her very much in recent years, because we’ve just been on different paths, but while I knew her, she was a very good friend,” said Dana Raber, who said she attended high school with the Megan. “She was one of the only close Winter Guard friends I have, and she was so nice and funny and she was strange, and I loved her, and I really, really miss her.”
Raber said she has fond memories of Megan and her family.
“I always thought she was very pretty, and admirable; that’s why I wanted to be friends with her, she’s very funny,” Raber said.
Megan was on track to graduate from Wright State University in December 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Earth Science.
She was fascinated with rocks, starting in primary school when she would bring home rock specimens of asphalt and concrete from the playground. This blossomed into her love of geology, the earth and space. She hoped to work for NASA to be a part of exploring the viability of life on other planets, according to her obituary.
A Bellbrook girl all her life, Megan was in Girl Scouts for 12 years, swam on the Brookview swim team, was a proud trumpet player for the Bellbrook High School marching band, performed in plays and musicals, and sang with the Wright State University Chorale. She was invited by her high school to be the final speaker at her high school commencement, performing “I’m Calling You Friend,” a spoken word piece.
She loved to write in all forms including poetry, short stories and her famous to-do lists. Megan twice received a scholarship to the Antioch Young Writer’s Workshop where she had the opportunity to meet other talented young writers like herself.
She was enormously creative; she sewed, made spectacular cards, painted and loved doing anything crafty. Megan would see something she liked and could always figure out a way to make it herself. She was happy making personalized gifts for her family, especially her mom, and friends. She began planning and making gifts for Christmas in August while she and her mom listened to Christmas music, her obituary states.
She loved trying all kinds of recipes, but her specialty was baking. Her favorite foods were mac and cheese, potatoes and ice cream. She was an Irish girl through and through.
Saeed Saleh, 38
Saeed Saleh left behind his wife and a five-year-old daughter.
Saeed came to the United States four years ago to escape the violence and repression in the Northeast African country of Eritrea.
His friends say Saeed worked as a forklift operator for DHL.
“He was a family man,” said Neb Tesfaye. “He didn’t really go out that much – just went out with a friend that day…to have a couple of beers.”
Tesfaye says Saeed stepped outside the bar to smoke a cigarette. He was standing near the front door when the shooting started.
“Thank God the police responded so quick, took him out because who knows how many more people he would have killed,” Tesfaye said while standing in front of dozens of flowers, candles and balloons that mark the spot where the shooting took place.
Derrick Fudge, 57
The sister of Dayton shooting victim Derrick Fudge said their family had reunited in Springfield where they’re all from the day before the shooting occurred.
After the picnic, Twyla Southall returned home to Dublin, but just hours later, her phone started going off in the middle of the night.
That’s when she heard the horrifying news from her niece and nephew.
“My niece, she said when they had started hearing the pop! pop! pops! she said, ‘everybody get down’ and kept screaming get down,” Southall recalled.
In the deadly chaos of that minute of gunfire, Derrick Fudge was hit. He had been out in the Oregon District of Dayton when he went outside a club with his son, Dion Green, and his son’s fiancé, Donita Cosey, to grab some food on the sidewalk. That’s when the gunfire started.
Dion said he noticed a man wearing a mask walking nearby.
“He came around the corner, I heard two shots, pop pop, walked by me, I’m still thinking this is not real,” he said.
Dion was holding on to his father as he took his last breath.
“We all get down and hear no more gunshots so I’m saying ‘Get up, we’re about to leave,’ so I’m holding my dad, talking to him like, ‘Come on, let’s go.’ He’s not moving. He took a gasp for air.”
Dion says he now feels terrible guilt for inviting his father along that night, knowing he’d be alive if he hadn’t.
“I think he protected me. I think he protected me, because there’s no way, this is how close we were to each other,” he said.
“It’s like a mixed bag. I’m very, very grateful to know that he was with his son. That’s his only son. He loves his son, but it’s so sad that was with him. There’s survivor’s guilt. There is ‘that he was in my arms and took his last breath’ devastation. You just can’t un-see that, un-live that,” Southall concluded.
Logan Turner, 30
Logan Turner was supposed to be celebrating his 30th birthday with friends and family. Instead, his family mourned his death in the Dayton shooting.
“Instead, we’re here with this. There will be no more birthdays,” Logan’s Grandmother Christine Wuebben said.
It’s was a rough few weeks for Logan’s ma-maw who had suffered a fall. She and Logan were especially close. She even helped care for him as a baby.
“Each day I made a log and book for him. Wrote down what we did and what he did and it was just a joy,” Wuebben said.
His stepdad said he was taken at the pinnacle of his life. Everything was perfect for Logan. Now, for his family, perfection is out of the question.
Danita Turner, Logan’s mother, said, “A mother shouldn’t have to bury their child.”
“I don’t think any of us will ever be the same again. I know I won’t,” Wuebben said. “I’m 87 and right now I’m just empty. Just empty.”
Logan loved his job and his girlfriend, Molly. He didn’t know a stranger.
Stepmother Kathy Wagner said, “Everybody loved him and he loved everybody.”
Aunt Susan Scherbauer said, “I didn’t have children of my own. So, he was like mine.”
He was a role model for everyone around him. Even his dad. “I just can’t say good enough stuff about my son. He was a man I wanted to be,” Mike Turner said.
Turner was employed at Thaler Machine Co. in Springboro.
President Greg Donson told 2 NEWS of how well-liked Logan was, and says he was a respected co-worker.
“I got to know him and was just very impressed with his demeanor and his abilities and his smile. I just got to know him real well and when I found out he was actually taking engineering classes, I realized that we were going to have to take a look at hiring this young man. He was a perfect fit, and we hired him, and he just did very well,” Donson said.
Logan had an Associates Degree in Engineering Technology from Sinclair and was in the process of taking more classes.
Nicholas Cumer, 25
Nicholas was completing his Masters degree in Exercise Physiology at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania. He was working in Dayton as part of his Maple Tree Cancer Alliance internship in August 2019.
“Nick really went above and beyond all of the expectations that we had,” said Karen Wonders, who owns Maple Tree Cancer Alliance.
She said patients loved him, and he knew how to be the support system cancer patients need.
“That’s what he was really good at, was providing that hope and being the light and being that encouragement,” Wonders said.
Cumer was offered a permanent position the week prior to the shooting.
“We were so impressed with his hard work ethic, caring attitude towards the patients, and dependability, that we knew he was the perfect fit for us,” Wonders said.
“One of his patients he was supposed to work with…he had texted her, ‘I can’t wait to see you tomorrow because I’ve got some really exciting news.’”
Tragically, he never got to share that news.
On the night of the shooting, Nicholas went out to celebrate his new role with three of the other Cancer Alliance trainers.
“The idea was that since he was officially moving to Dayton, they wanted to show him the best of Dayton, which is why they were in the Oregon District that evening,” Wonders said.
Cumer arrived at Ned Peppers only a few minutes before the shots began.
When one of the female trainers was shot, Nick immediately threw himself on her to shield her from more bullets, losing his life in the process.
“He died a hero, and we are so proud to have known him,” Wonders said.
She said she hopes he’ll be remembered as someone who dedicated his life to serving.
“I think that that is so telling of his character and his heart.”
Wonders said that the Maple Tree Cancer Alliance has since started a scholarship fund in his name, which annually awards a student intern to help with expenses. There is also a memoriam plaque hanging in the center where Nicholas worked.
Thomas McNichols, 25
Thomas McNichols was only starting to grieve. His 25-year-old son, given the same name, had died in the Oregon District shooting.
“To come down in the Oregon District, to enjoy yourself, and this happens,” he said. “His life was taken away at a young age. My only son. Now I don’t have him. That’s it. My only son.”
He was a father of four and a hard worker, described as having a heart of gold.
“He changed eight families, including mine. He changed us forever,” McNichols said.
He believes the shooting happened because of a failure by people in power.
“Now, anybody can go in anywhere and get an assault rifle of mass destruction, and you’re not worried about it until things like this happen, and it happened in Dayton. It happened to my son and my family,” he said.
This was McNichols’ third visit to the place his only son lost his life, as he questions why.
“Now, I’ve got to be there to make sure that his legacy lives on by his kids understanding that their dad was a wonderful and beautiful son.”
Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36
Beatrice Warren-Curtis had traveled to Dayton to visit co-worker and close friend Monica Brickhouse. The two decided to go out to the Oregon District, when tragedy struck. Both women were killed.
WAVY reports that Curtis had worked with Brickhouse at Anthem in Virginia Beach.
Anthem President and CEO Gail Boudreaux sent the memo identifying the two associates killed in Dayton. It reads in full:
“It is with a tremendously heavy heart that I share we lost two of our Anthem associates to the tragic shooting in Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend. While the random acts of violence are never easy to understand, this latest incident has proven even more heartbreaking with the loss of two of our own.
Beatrice Curtis, from our Virginia Beach office, and Monica Brickhouse, a former Virginia Beach-based associate who recently transitioned to work from home in Ohio, were together Saturday evening in Dayton at the time of the shooting. In addition to being colleagues, Beatrice and Monica had become dear friends working together in the Program Integrity function within our Diversified Business Group.
Known for their positive energy and enthusiasm for their work, Beatrice and Monica worked tirelessly in support of those we serve. With a combined twelve years of service between them, Beatrice and Monica represented the very best of what it means to be part of the Anthem team.”
Monica Brickhouse, 39
Monica was a native of Springfield and moved to Virginia. Monica and her husband Anthony were the parents of 6-year-old Anthony, Jr.
Monica was also the step-mother to two other children.
“When I met Monica, I met her through my nephew,” Terry Brickhouse, Anthony’s uncle, said. “And she changed his life so that called me to love her instantly.”
“I’ve never seen my sister more happy,” Terry said. “I’ve never seen my nephew more happy. The joy she brought to the family. It hurts me to know that that joy has turned into sadness.”
Monica worked for Anthem. She was originally working out of Virginia Beach but then transferred to work for Anthem from home and spend more time with family.
Monica’s family confirms that Beatrice Curtis, also an employee from the Anthem Virginia Beach office, was in Dayton to visit Monica and the two went out for a night on the town in the Oregon District. They would never come home.
“They went out to have a ladies night out, then the tragedy struck,” Terry Brickhouse said.
Damian Seaton worked with Monica at Bank of America before it was closed down and relocated. Seaton called Monica Brickhouse an excellent supervisor.
“She was just a very positive person,” Seaton said. “You always knew when you sat with her that you had an easy-going spirit, someone who was going to help you and advise you in the right ways.”
Seaton said Brickhouse was a unique supervisor.
“When she walked through the call center, you never heard her coming,” Seaton said. “She would slide her feet everywhere she went. That was just her style.”