Nine people were killed and 26 injured by a gunman who opened fired on patrons enjoying the summer evening on a patio at a Dayton, Ohio, bar.
The 1 a.m. local time attack came just hours after 20 people were slain and 27 injured at a crowded Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
The shooter was killed in the attack outside Ned Peppers bar in Dayton’s Oregon District, a busy stretch of restaurants and bars. He was described being masked and wearing ear protection, wearing body armor, and wielding a .223 caliber rifle with extra magazines.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said the shooter was a white male in his 20s who was not from Dayton but elsewhere in Montgomery County. CBS News later identified the shooter as Connor Betts, 24, of Bellbrook, Ohio. According to a LinkedIn page with the same information, Betts studied psychology at Sinclair Community College and worked at Chipotle. He had no criminal record.
Mayor Nan Whaley said that if police hadn’t already been in the nightlife district the toll could have been much worse. Witnesses said the shooter tried to get inside the bar.
“The officers were there less than a minute from the beginning of the shooting. The shooter was able to kill nine people and injure 26 in less than a minute,” Whaley told reporters.
Dayton Deputy Director and Assistant Chief of Police Lt. Col. Matt Carper said that no officers were injured in the attack.
Whaley said that “we have no information yet on the motive of the shooter,” and the FBI has been assisting with the investigation from the start. The mayor also said there was no immediate information as to whether the El Paso and Dayton shootings are connected.
“My daughter & a family friend had just entered the Tumbleweed Connection when the shooting began across the street. Both reported of the visible @DaytonPolice presence before the shooting and the bravery they witnessed as officers ran toward the gun shots,” tweeted Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio). “My daughter & friend fled into #OregonDistrict & contacted me at 2am. As they ran home, I followed their progress & prayed for them & our community. Thank you to @DaytonPolice for their bravery in stopping this evil.”
This story was updated at 11:45 a.m.