The gunman who killed nine people in 2019 outside a crowded nightclub strip in Dayton apparently shot all of his victims – including his younger sister – at random, police said in a report that went off stopped before drawing a final conclusion.
The investigation report released by the Dayton Police said there is no evidence Connor Betts targeted or picked his 22-year-old sister, Megan, who was among those killed.
“All of the victims appear to have been random,” Detective David House wrote in the report released Friday.
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But the FBI, which announced the end of its investigation late last year, said this week it had come to no final conclusions as to whether Betts intended to shoot his sister.
“No one knows for sure except the gunman, who died,” FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren said in an interview on Monday.
Betts, 24, was killed by police half a minute after opening fire in the Oregon District’s crowded entertainment area in Dayton. Armed with an AR-15 type rifle and an extended ammunition magazine, he killed nine people and injured dozens more.
He had fantasized about mass shootings, serial murders and murder-suicides for at least a decade before committing the attack, the FBI said.
Betts arrived at the Entertainment District that evening with his sister and best friend, Chace Beard. They spent about an hour inside a bar before Betts left and made their way to another nightclub on their own, police said.
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Text messages posted by police show Betts asking the couple to come to the other bar, but Beard replied that they were going to have tacos and only stay an hour longer.
None of the posts suggested that Betts was about to carry out the attack.
Minutes later, Betts walked over to his car, put on a bulletproof vest and retrieved a gun from the trunk, according to video examined by police. He then went down an alley and started shooting.
Her sister was shot while standing in line at a taco cart with Beard, who was also shot and injured.
“We were on the front line, I was literally watching them prepare my food when I heard gunshots,” said Beard, who spoke to police at the hospital.
He said he saw the masked gunman for a few seconds but did not recognize him.
Beard said he was not aware of any issues between the siblings and that Betts “was really protective of her,” according to the police report.
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Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl, who has since retired, said a week after the attack there was a real question whether Betts could see who was on the other side when he began to shoot.
A witness told police Betts was shooting from the hip and not looking through the gun’s sights. Another said he saw Betts at one point hiding behind a trash can and then saw him appear to be targeting people.
The man, who served in the Marine Corps, said he didn’t think Betts was trained to shoot a rifle properly, judging by the way he was holding it.
The FBI, in a summary of its investigation released in November, said it found evidence that Betts had “investigated violent ideologies.”
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A psychology professor who had Betts in two of his classes at Sinclair Community College in Dayton told Dayton Police he was more obnoxious during his class in the spring of 2019, according to police records released Friday.
Debbie Carter-Ford told investigators Betts had spoken and written about how he did not allow laws to influence him and said he believed the government was spying on him. On the last day of class in May, she said, he stormed out of the classroom and said, “I’m not feeling well.”