(Reuters) – A gunman who killed 9 individuals in Dayton, Ohio earlier this month spent two hours within the nightlife neighborhood earlier than unleashing an assault on bar goers and possibly carried it out alone, police mentioned on Tuesday.
The Aug. four assault, which ended when police shot and killed the gunman, 24-year-old Connor Betts, was certainly one of three high- profile mass shootings over three weeks that surprised the US and stoked its long-running debate on gun rights.
Throughout a day information convention, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl used footage from video cameras from a number of companies within the neighborhood to put out an in depth timeline of the gunman’s actions across the neighborhood identified for its night time life earlier than the early Sunday morning capturing.
At 11:04 p.m., Betts arrived in his automobile together with his sister and a companion. The trio went to a tavern often known as Blind Bob’s. Some 69 minutes later, Betts left the bar alone and went to Ned Pepper’s, a bar throughout the road, Biehl mentioned as he confirmed the footage.
Betts stayed at Ned Pepper’s for 28 minutes earlier than heading again to his automobile, the place he spent 9 minutes. He modified his garments, bought his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, physique armor and a masks and positioned among the gadgets in a backpack.
Twenty minutes later at 1:04 a.m., two hours after he arrived within the neighborhood, he went again to Ned Pepper’s and opened hearth outdoors the bar, capturing 17 individuals and killing 9, together with his sister, Biehl mentioned.
It’s a “sturdy likelihood” that Betts went into Ned Pepper’s beforehand to case the institution, Biehl mentioned.
“He was very conversant in the Oregon District,” he mentioned. “This was a plan nicely earlier than he bought to the Oregon District.”
Biehl mentioned the video footage indicated that Betts acted alone that night time.
“Clearly, that day throughout that point interval, we don’t see anybody aiding in committing this horrendous crime,” he mentioned.
The investigation additionally “appears to strongly recommend” that his companion, who was wounded within the rampage, didn’t know Betts was planning to hold out the capturing or that he had weapons within the car.
However investigators “have radically completely different views” on whether or not Betts focused his sister and his companion.
“Based mostly on what we all know now, we can not make that decision conclusively,” Biehl mentioned.
The FBI mentioned final week that Betts had a historical past of violent obsessions and had mused about committing mass homicide earlier than his rampage in Dayton’s historic downtown.
Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Enhancing by Cynthia Osterman