Dayton gunman was exploring ‘very specific violent ideologies,' FBI says

Updated: Aug. 6, 2019 at 6:52 PM EDT
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DAYTON, Ohio (FOX19) - The gunman in the mass shooting that left nine people dead early Sunday morning was said to be exploring violent ideologies, FBI Agent Todd Wickerham said on Tuesday.

The shooting happened in the Oregon District on E. Fifth Street at 1 a.m.

The suspect, Connor Betts, 24, of Dayton, wearing body armor opened fire with a .223 caliber rifle, according to Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

Dayton Police Chief Robert Biehl said the rifle held a 100 double-round drum magazine.

Betts was wearing a mask, bulletproof vest and ear protection, according to Biehl.

Wickerham said they found specific violent ideologies that Betts was interested in, but would not elaborate on the specifics.

“This individual was very specifically seeking out information on promoting violence,” he said.

Biehl said Betts had a history of obsession with mass shootings and had a desire to commit one.

Wickerham said there is no evidence of race being part of motive at this point.

WATCH LIVE: Dayton officials are giving an update on the investigation into the mass shooting that killed 9 people in the Oregon District Sunday >>

Posted by FOX19 on Tuesday, August 6, 2019

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The latest press conference came a day after Dayton Police Chief Robert Biehl called the gunman’s ability to obtain the firearm he used and the large amount of ammunition he had on him, “fundamentally problematic.”

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Biehl confirmed that the shooter modified the firearm to have it function as a rifle, which he said he also found troubling.

“I’m not the expert in it but I can tell you it was modified in essence to function like a rifle — and to avoid any legal prohibitions,” he said.

The chief also said he can confirm at least 14 of the people injured, were injured by gunfire.

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Dayton Fire Chief Jeffrey Payne said 37 total patients were treated at local hospitals. He said they suffered injuries ranging from gunshots, to injuries from being trampled, to lacerations from broken glass.

Payne says 11 victims are still hospitalized from their injuries.

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He says his fire and medic crews transported five people to the hospital, he says many were taken to the hospital by personal vehicle.

Police confirm that one of the nine shooting victims was the shooter’s sister, Megan K. Betts.

Megan, who was 22, was the youngest victim; the oldest was 57.

The victims are: Lois L. Oglesby, 27, Saeed Saleh, 38, Derrick R. Fudge, 57, Logan M. Turner, 30, Nicholas P. Cumer, 25, Thomas J. McNichols, 25, Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis, 36, Monica E. Brickhouse, 39, and Megan Betts.

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Tuesday, Biehl said they’re not close to determining a motive for the shooting due to the amount of evidence officials still need to comb through, but said they’re beginning to get a better picture.

He said the Dayton Police Department will concentrate on the homicide investigations and the FBI will focus on Betts’ violent ideologies, if anyone helped him and to find why he committed this specific act of violence.

Officials ask anyone with additional information on the shooting, to contact the FBI tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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