Police: Gunman expressed interest in committing mass shooting

Oregon District Shooting

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Chief Biehl with Dayton Police says that while they have yet to determine a motive behind the Oregon District shooting, they are learning more about the shooter’s mindset, saying he had expressed an interest in committing a mass shooting.

“Material has revealed an orientation toward violent ideologies which elevate this case to one of federal interest. Thus, the FBI will be taking the essential role in certain aspects of this case, while the Dayton Police Department continues to focus on the homicide investigation,” he said.

Todd Wickerham with the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office could only provide very limited information on evidence obtained so far in the investigation.

“Our investigation with Dayton Police is ongoing. We have not made any final investigative conclusions into the motive of the shooter or if he was assisted by any other people in this attack,” he said. “However, we have uncovered evidence throughout the course of our investigation that the shooter was exploring violent ideologies. Based upon this evidence, we are initiating an FBI investigation side-by-side with the Dayton Police homicide investigation.”

Wickerham says the FBI wants to answer three questions:

  1. What, if any, ideology influenced the attacker?
  2. Who, if anyone, helped him or had any advanced knowledge of his intentions?
  3. Why did he commit this specific act of violence?

He says one piece of evidence does not necessarily constitute a motive, hence the need for a full investigation.

“It is absolutely critical that we do this investigation the right way. This community and our country deserves an answer as to why this happened,” he said.

Wickerham says there has been no evidence so far to suggest that the attack was racially-motivated or that he was influenced by the El Paso shooting.

Anyone who may have information relevant to the tragedy is asked to call the FBI Tip Line at 1-800-CALL-FBI. Digital evidence, such as social media posts or videos, that may help investigators figure out why the shooter carried out this attack, can be submitted at this website.

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