Police release surveillance videos of Dayton mass shooting, gunman stopped in 30 seconds

Updated: Aug. 5, 2019 at 10:02 AM EDT
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DAYTON, Ohio (FOX19) - Dayton police released footage of officers engaging the suspect of a mass shooting in downtown Dayton early Sunday morning before he was fatally shot.

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl showed the surveillance videos, captured from cameras on from nearby buildings, during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

Dayton police identified the suspect of the Sunday morning downtown mass shooting as...
Dayton police identified the suspect of the Sunday morning downtown mass shooting as 24-year-old Connor Betts of Bellbrook.(Provided)

He said officers stopped the gunman, Connor Betts, 24, of Bellbrook, 30 seconds after he fired his first shots.

“If the Dayton police had not gotten to the shooter in under a minute, hundreds of people in the Oregon District would be dead today,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.

Wearing a ballistic vest, mask and ear protection, the gunman opened fire with .223 caliber rifle with magazines capable of holding at least 100 rounds of ammunition on the sidewalk outside Ned Peppers, a nightclub on East Fifth Street just after 1 a.m., killing nine people and wounding 27, according to police.

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Officers patrolling the district heard gunfire erupt and immediately advanced toward it, the chief said.

The videos show officers pursuing him around the corner of a restaurant in Dayton’s Oregon District.

Within just 20 seconds, they engaged Betts and stopped him, neutralizing the threat 30 seconds after Betts fired his first shots, and fatally shot him, Biehl said.

A third video shows the moment when shots rang out in the area surrounding the shooting, with sounds of loud gunfire erupting in the scene on the street.

Witnesses ran away so fast, their shoes fell off, Biehl said.

The gunman’s first victim was his younger sister, Megan Betts, 22.

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Five officers and one sergeant were all involved in diffusing the active shooter situation.

Biehl said all six fired at least one round.

All were placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol for an officer-involved shooting.

The gunman fired dozens of rounds, he said.

“I’m still just completely amazed with the heroic actions of our police department,” Whaley said.

Biehl said police are still working to find a motive, and any suggestion at this point would be “irresponsible" because of a lack of information at the current state of the investigation.

Federal and local authorities searched a home Sunday linked to Betts in Bellbrook, about 15 miles south of the scene of the shootings.

Someone who accompanied Betts and his sister to the Oregon District survived and had initial conversations with police, Biehl said.

They have yet to say what they found.

The rifle with double 100-double round drum magazine was ordered online from Texas, but then transferred to the suspect at a local dealer in the area, according to the police chief.

“There is no indication that that is illegal at this time,” he said.

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