A shocking revelation on Sunday by officials… who say the Dayton mass shooting gunman drove to the scene of the carnage with his sister, then made her one of the nine victims killed in the massacre.
The man who police say was the killer was 24-year-old Connor Betts.
His sister, 22-year-old Megan Betts, was one of the bodies left in the Ohio city lined with bars and restaurants around 1 a.m., police said in a briefing.
According to officials, right before the massacre, the siblings and a mutual acquaintance drove together to the nightlife district in Betts’ father’s 2007 Toyota Corolla.
Officials are still piecing together what they’ve learned in the hours since the shooting began.
Not long after the three arrived, Connor Betts split up from the other two.
Police say that’s when grabbed his AR-15-style rifle, crept through an alley towards the row of people hanging out and opened fire.
The rifle was equipped with a double-drum magazine with a 100-round capacity, and Betts used it to shoot his first victims near a tattoo parlor.
Police say he then moved across the street towards Ned Peppers Bar.
Betts was shot and killed by police, at least two of whom were armed with rifles, within just 30 seconds of his first shot.
But that was all the time he needed to kill nine people and wound 27 more.
Police said Megan Betts was among the dead and their friend was wounded.
The other eight victims who died were identified by officials as:
Lois Oglesby, 27; Saeed Saleh, 38; Derrick Fudge, 57; Logan Turner, 30; Nicholas Cumer, 25; Thomas McNichols, 25; Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36; and Monica Brickhouse, 39.
Police recovered both the rifle and a shotgun from inside the Toyota. Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said they were both legally purchased by Betts.
They haven’t yet publicly identified a specific motive in the shooting, but they have said they’re not sure whether Megan Betts was her brother’s intended target.
“It’s a nagging question and I just don’t have the answer,” said Biehl.
He also touched on the Betts family.
“This is a nightmare for them, and I think they are struggling, as you can understand.”
Police say it all began around 1:22 a.m. in the city’s Oregon District and that officers were in the area when the shooting started.
— Dayton Police Dept. (@DaytonPolice) August 4, 2019
We learned this morning that the suspect wore body armor, according to Deb Decker, Montgomery County Emergency Services public information officer.
According to witnesses, there were a number of “walking wounded” in the area.
According to one newspaper reporter, abandoned shoes were seen in the area of the shooting, which were left behind as panicked people fled.
Dayton Daily News reporter Amelia Robinson describes seeing a number of abandoned shoes in the area of tonight's shooting. People trying to flee the scene simply ran out of their shoes.
— News Radio 610 WTVN (@610wtvnnews) August 4, 2019
— WHIO-TV (@whiotv) August 4, 2019
A spokesperson for Miami Valley Hospital said 16 victims were being treated there, the same number of wounded reported by Lt. Col. Matt Carper of the Dayton Police Department.
#OregonDistrict #update Lt. Col. Carper: at 1:22am active shooter situation began in oregon district. The shooter is deceased. There are 9 others also deceased. At least 16 others went to area hospitals with injuries.
— Dayton Police Dept. (@DaytonPolice) August 4, 2019
The shooting happened near Ned Peppers Bar in the Oregon District, but Dayton police said they were checking other bars in the area for additional shooting victims.
The shooting reportedly took place near Ned Peppers Bar in the city’s Oregon District. But Dayton police were checking other bars in the area for the possibility of additional shooting victims.
“We’re trying to identify the motivation behind this,” said.
Dayton Police Lieutenant Colonel Matt Carper says nine victims and a shooter are deceased, with 16 more individuals hospitalized after an incident that occurred just after one o'clock this morning. The FBI is on scene to provide Dayton with additional resources…
— News Radio 610 WTVN (@610wtvnnews) August 4, 2019
Ned Peppers Bar posted a message on Instagram:
“All of our staff is safe and our hearts go out to everyone involved as we gather information.”
View this post on Instagram
Carper said the Oregon District is very popular and usually a safe section of the city.
I’m heartbroken. Thank you to our first responders for all that you’ve done. We will share updates as we have more information.
— Nan Whaley (@nanwhaley) August 4, 2019
There was “a very short timeline of violence” because the officers were on their regular patrols of the district. “We’re very fortunate for that,” he said. “We had officers in the immediate vicinity when this shooting began and were able to respond and put an end to it quickly,” Carper said.
A number of area police departments responded to a “Signal 99” broadcast asking for all available police to respond to the district.
Agents with the FBI and ATF also responded.
The police department opened the Convention Center, near the Oregon District, for family members and friends who were disconnected from their family members and friends during the shooting.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 937-225-6217.
A bouncer at an establishment next door to Ned Peppers, who identified himself as Jeff, said he was 20 feet from the gunman and saw the muzzle flashes.
“He damaged our city,” said Jeff.
In a public Facebook post from a person named James Williams: “Sad people are not right. I’m safe. Happened right in front of the patio where I was sitting in front of Neds. The guy in front of Ned Peppers’ door is the active shooter.
Someone told local media this is how it began:
“He tried to go into the bar but did not make it through the door. Someone took the gun from him and he got shot and is dead.
“There are at least eight people dead right by the picnic table where I was on the street. A bunch of people taken to the hospital. I don’t know how any… this place is a disaster.”
Police were originally searching for a possible second shooter who they thought may have left the area.
It’s the second such massacre in less than 24 hours.
Authorities in El Paso have just started investigating a massacre at a Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso.
At least 20 people were killed in that shooting.
In response today's active shooter, and the public's concern #SocorroPD will be posting units outside of the neighborhood Walmart at 10301 Alameda. THERE IS NO THREAT. Just wanting to keep our community's peace of mind to shop comfortably.
— City of Socorro (@City_of_Socorro) August 3, 2019
Multiple SWAT teams responded to the Walmart early Saturday afternoon.
Shoppers leaving the scene of a mass shooting at Cielo Vista mall in El Paso. pic.twitter.com/4muC1fKj8R
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) August 3, 2019
El Paso police confirmed an “active shooter” and urged people to avoid the area. About an hour later, they confirmed they had one person in custody and that the threat was over.
Initial reports came in of as many as three shooters – police later said that was not accurate.
— Jorge Salgado (@SalgadoPhoto_) August 3, 2019
Dan Patrick, Texas’ lieutenant governor, said that the suspect under arrest is a 21-year-old male.
There are a number of reports on social media suggesting that a manifesto written by the alleged shooter has been making the rounds on various web sites.
Active Shooter in area of Hawkins and Gateway East. Scene is still active avoid the area. RG limited information.
— EL PASO POLICE DEPT (@EPPOLICE) August 3, 2019
Law Enforcement Today has viewed a number of videos showing bodies strewn about the entrance to the Walmart. Out of respect for the families, we will NOT be showing those videos.
A reunification center for families was set up at MacArthur Middle School, north of the mall.
Fire medical with at Walmart active shooter event at Cielo Vista Mall. Police still inside. pic.twitter.com/P6zsjwVN0n
— mark lambie (@LambieMark) August 3, 2019
El Paso police are reporting that the scene in still active and are warning all members of the public to avoid the area around I-10 and Airway to Hawkins.
Witness report that people are being escorted out of the mall with their hands in the air.
Employees at several nearby restaurants told CNN they see a lot of police, helicopters and people running around outside.
“We never thought it would be so close to us this time,” Landry’s Seafood House restaurant manager Oscar Collazo told CNN. “You see on the news all the time, but you don’t think it could happen here until it does.”
Ray Holgin was a witness. He told local media outlets he was about to go into the Walmart when he heard at least 10 gunshots and that he thought he saw at least two people with guns.
He also said he saw an elderly lady, fall to the ground, but he’s not sure if she was shot.
15+ shots, And I swear I saw an older lady drop to the floor🤢😢. Check on your family
— IG: wreckemray (@GeeRayAllDay_1) August 3, 2019
There was a shooting in the El Paso Walmart and my man and his family was there but so many people got shot. Please keep them in your prayers!! I’m so shaken up
— JAY-QWEL-IN (@jaquelynavy) August 3, 2019
Confirmed active shooter with an AK 47 at Walmart next to cielo vista.
— Daddy Roode (@Julio_ftw) August 3, 2019
My sister said the cashiers at Walmart got shot. Hopefully everyone is okay. Be safe https://t.co/78YBE1AL1g
— Carlitos (@CarAmaya11) August 3, 2019
Utterly heartbroken by the developing news in El Paso. Monitoring the situation and in communication with our law enforcement. Please stay safe.
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) August 3, 2019
The shooting comes less than a week after a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival Sunday evening in Northern California that left at least three people dead and 18 more wounded.
Police have released the identity of the shooter as 19-year-old Santino William Legan. Police shot and killed him when they responded to the active shooter scenario.
Here’s what we know about Legan so far.
Legan was 19-years-old and is reportedly Italian and Iranian descent. Just hours before the festival, Legan posted to a now deleted Instagram account with a photo and the words, “Ayyy garlic festival time. Come get wasted on overpriced s–t.”
Chilling comments followed on the post.
Legan’s family apparently is well situated in the Gilroy community. His grandfather served as a Santa Clara County Supervisor and his father and brothers are reportedly well-known athletes. Police went to the location believed to be Legan’s home on Monday for a detailed search for a motive.
Police focusing on the car outside the home of the teenager identified as the shooter at Gilroy Garlic Festival. 19-year-old Santino Legan lived here – he was shot and killed by police. pic.twitter.com/KDmgnz9BZp
— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) July 29, 2019
Legan allegedly was wearing fatigues and armed with a semi-automatic long rifle when he snuck through the woods and through a fence that bordered the food festival. Witnesses reported seeing him running through the grounds opening fire on anyone nearby.
— Elissa Harrington (@EHarringtonTV) July 29, 2019
“A lot of people started running toward us, yelling and screaming, that there was a guy shooting,” one witness said. “So we all panicked, dropped everything we had and ran with them, got into their trucks, jumped in with whoever we could jump in with. We got out of there. There were quite a few shots. It sounded like he reloaded. Because it stopped and then started again. … He was all in fatigues and had a machine gun and he was just shooting at everyone, randomly shooting.”
Another witness said, “He was walking like he wanted to get stuff done. It was horrifying. He was ready to do some damage.”
— isaac guardado (@NstySeaL) July 29, 2019
A quick Google search revealed that the park where the festival took place was listed as a “gun-free zone,” leaving festival-goers unarmed and ill-prepared to deal with any sort of threat.
When police responded to the scene immediately after Legan began shooting, they opened fire on the armed suspect, killing him. He was taken down just minutes after he began his attack.
Social media posts showed the terror that ensued as Legan began firing.
#BREAKING: Video shows moment gunman opens fire on Gilroy garlic festival Sunday evening; 4 people killed (including suspected gunman), 15 others injured. [Warning: Potentially-distressing footage] #GilroyGarlicFestival #GilroyActiveshooter pic.twitter.com/Qiv7GW3j4V
— California Brief (@CaliforniaBrief) July 29, 2019
Police have confirmed that the dead include 6-year-old Stephen Luciano Romero, of San Jose. Other members of his family were shot, but survived their injuries.
The conditions of the wounded ranged from critical to fair.
Heavy law enforcement presence in this Gilroy neighborhood right now. While unconfirmed by police, we got a tip someone here may somehow be connected to the #GilroyGarlicFestival shooting. Gilroy PD and ATF out here going in and out of this house. @KTVU pic.twitter.com/QkQjNS2zxE
— Sara Zendehnam (@szendehnam) July 29, 2019
The shooting started at 5:41 p.m. Sunday evening at Christmas Park. Police were on the scene within one minute.
Authorities are still on the hunt for a possible second suspect.
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The Gilroy PD posted the following message on Twitter.
“The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival. The scene is still active. If you are looking for a loved one, please go to the reunification center at Gavilan College at parking lot B. #GilroyActiveshooter … Witness line and family reunification line: 408-846-0583. If you saw something today please call that number immediately. Please keep the main GPD line for emergencies only.”