DAYTON, Ohio (FOX19) - The case against Dayton police officers involved in the death of a man who killed nine people and wounded 27 in Aug. 2019 will not be presented to the grand jury, according to the Montgomery County prosecutor.
Mathias H. Heck, Jr. sent a letter to Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl on Jan. 15 saying his office generally presents police officer shootings that involve the death of a suspect to the Montgomery County Grand Jury for review.
However, Heck says in cases where a thorough review of the facts, circumstances, and evidence show that the shooting was justified, there’s no purpose served by taking it to a grand jury. “Such is the case with the Oregon District shooting,” he wrote.
“It is clear beyond any doubt and there can be absolutely no question that Dayton Police Department Officers Jeremy Campbell, Vincent Carter, David Denlinger, Ryan Nabel, Brian Rolfes, and Sgt. William Knight all shot and killed Connor Betts in self-defense and in the self-defense and protection of others," Prosecutor Heck said in the letter.
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Connor Betts, 24, was wearing body armor when he opened fire with a .223 rifle outside Ned Peppers in Dayton’s Oregon District on Aug. 9.
Officers patrolling the area ran toward the gunfire and “neutralized the threat 30 seconds after Betts fired his first shots, and fatally shot him," Chief Biehl said in the days after the shooting.
Heck also says the case should not go to the grand jury because it would serve no legal purpose, and would be a waste of resources and the grand jury’s time.
In addition, the prosecutor says it would cause the victim’s families, survivors, and the police officers to unnecessarily relive the shooting.
The letter concludes that the officers all acted “responsibly, in self-defense and in the defense of others. Accordingly, the criminal investigation and review of this case are CLOSED.”