February 21, 2024

On Aug 4, at 1:05 a.m. in the Oregon District in Dayton, just 25 minutes from  Wittenberg, a lone person, 24-year-old Connor Betts, of Bellbrook, Ohio, with no previous criminal record, shot 26 persons in just 32 seconds, killing nine people including his 22- year-old sister Megan Betts. This occurred less than 24 hours after a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. 

Betts was prepared to continue. In addition to body armor, he had several additional magazines for his legally purchased high powered semi-automatic rifle. The police were stationed in the area, with mounted roof lights indicating their presence, but this did not deter Betts. The Dayton police ended the mass shooting just 32 seconds after it began.  

Betts didn’t leave behind a manifesto but did, according to the FBI, leave an extensive social-media footprint. Betts had expressed support for Antifa (for anti-fascist) and anti-ICE groups. On his now closed Twitter account, he posted tweets including: “Kill Every Fascist,” “Yes, Let’s Defeat or Impeach Trump—but What If He Doesn’t Leave the White House?” “Arm, train, prepare.” He also made additional comments against Sen. Ted Cruz and Bill Cassidy’s resolution against Antifa and expressed admiration for Willem van Spronsen, a “martyr” who fire-bombed an ICE building and tried to fire upon it.

Dion Green and his father, Springfield resident Derick Fudge, both dropped to the floor of the bar they were in when the shooting started. Green motioned for his father to get off of the floor to exit the building, not realizing the 57-year-old had already passed away. Springfield resident Monica Brickhouse, 39, also was killed in the shooting.

“I could see the bodies lying in the street,” Kevin Bennett, owner of Bennette’s Books on 5th Street in Dayton, said. 

Because of the proximity of the shooting to Witt’s campus, students felt personally impacted by the events. 

“I was shocked … this shouldn’t happen,” Jake Stockhausen, ‘23, said.

“Sad … we need to do more of a [psychological] background check,” Jordan Wilson, ‘23, said. 

Chris Ovington, owner of Exotic Fantasies, said: “If I was there, I would probably be dead.” 

Others killed in the shooting were Lois Oglesby, 27, Nicholas Cumer, 25, Thomas McNichols, 25, Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36, Megan Betts, 22, Logan Turner, 30, and Saeed Saleh, 39.

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