Connor Betts killed nine – including his own sister and injured 17 others when he opened fire in Dayton, Ohio, on August 3
Authorities who have been trying to piece together a motive behind Connor Betts’ deadly mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio earlier this month revealed that the gunman may not have intentionally murdered his sister as first believed.
During a Tuesday press conference, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl released a detailed timeline of events of the night that 24-year-old Betts killed nine in a rampage outside Ned Peppers bar on August 3.
Text messages show Connor Betts knew roughly where his 22-year-old sister Megan was when he first opened fire, but what’s not known is whether he could specifically see her standing under an umbrella at a taco stand.
‘If we can’t seem to make that call conclusively — that we’re divided about how, whether that was intentional or not — I think it’s inconclusive,’ Biehl said.
Investigators remain divided over whether he intentionally sort out to kill his sister Megan or not, believing his view to be obscured when he first opened fire
According to Biehl, Betts, his sister Megan, and their mutual friend arrived at the Oregon District and parked in the lot being Thai 9 at 11:04pm
All three of them entered a bar called Blind Bob’s where they remained together until 12:14am on Sunday morning
At this time, Betts left Blind Bob’s and went to Ned Peppers where he would stay for around 30 minutes, before returning to his car by himself at 12:44am
According to Biehl, Betts, his sister, and their mutual friend, Charles Beard, arrived at the Oregon District and parked in the lot behind Thai 9 at 11:04pm.
All three of them entered a bar called Blind Bob’s where they remained together until 12:14am on Sunday morning.
At this time, Betts left Blind Bob’s and went to Ned Peppers where he would stay for around 30 minutes, before returning to his car by himself at 12:44am.
Betts was seen on CCTV camera loitering around the vehicle for around eight minutes. He was seen looking at items inside his trunk, gathering them into a backpack and changing into a dark hooded sweatshirt.
As he walked away from the car, Betts could be seen carrying a black backpack, walking back towards Blind Bob’s through a darkened side alley.
In the shadowed walkway, Betts hid for around nine minutes, where police believe he was reassembling his assault rifle, which they say was broken down in the bag.
Moments later, Betts was seen running out from the walkway and began shooting at 1:05am, initially killing three people stood near a taco truck outside Blind Bob’s.
The gunman then started running down 5th street, firing his weapon as he ran, before crossing the street and killing several more people, Dayton police said.
Betts walked back to his car alone (left) dressed in shorts and a t-shirt at 12:44am. He stayed at his car for around eight minutes and was seen leaving the parking lot in dark clothing with a black backpack (right)
As he walked away from the car, Betts could be seen carrying a black backpack, walking back towards Blind Bob’s through a darkened side alley. In the shadowed walkway, Betts hid for around nine minutes, where police believe he was putting assembling his assault rifle
At this time, three uniformed officers spotted the gunman and shot him dead in the entrance way to Ned Peppers.
Among Betts’ three victims by the taco truck was his sister Megan. Biehl admitted that investigators remain divided over whether he intentionally set out to kill her or not, believing his view to be obscured by the truck when he first opened fire.
In total, Betts killed nine people and wounded 17 others – three more than was initially reported by authorities in the shooting’s wake.
Authorities added the immediate motivation behind the shooting, its timing and the location chosen, is not known, and may never be known, but said they were aware of the culprit’s broad violent mind-set.
They added that the gunman was ‘very familiar with the Oregon District’ and appeared to be acting alone.
The police chief refused to conclusively answer whether Betts was under the influence of drugs at the time of the attack, pending the outcome of a toxicology report.
Biehl did however admit that drug paraphernalia was found in the car, and said it’s known the gunman was a drug user, though it’s unclear how frequent such use was.
The gunman then started running down 5th street, firing his weapon as he ran, before crossing the street and killing several more people, Dayton police said. At this time, three uniformed officers spotted the gunman and shot him dead in the entrance way to Ned Peppers.
Betts approaches a nightclub in an image from surveillance video released by police in Dayton
Timeline of Dayton massacre
11:04 pm: Connor Betts, 24, arrives in Dayton’s Oregon district with his 22-year-old sister and a male companion. They go to a bar, Blind Bob’s.
12:13 am: Betts leaves them and goes across the street to another bar, Ned Peppers.
12:42 am: Betts leaves Ned Peppers and returns to their vehicle in a nearby parking lot, where he changes clothes and retrieves his firearm.
12:55 am: Carrying a backpack, Betts retraces his path toward the bars, disappearing from camera view for nine minutes behind another tavern.
1:04 am: Betts emerges and moves down an alley next to Blind Bob’s, readying the weapon to fire.
1:05 am: Betts opens fire outside Blind Bob’s. The first victims include his sister and the surviving companion, who were near a taco stand out front. Betts continues to fire and moves toward Ned Peppers, where police fatally shoot him outside the building. Attack is over in about 32 seconds.
Biehl also revealed that Betts had an obsession with violence with a particular fascination with mass shootings – even previously expressing his desire to carry out one of his own.
Betts’ violent interests have been well documented by his former class mates, comments from law enforcement and from Betts’ own social media activity in the weeks since.
One of his Twitter accounts laid his macabre interests bare, even boasting of how easy it was to access high-powered guns common to all American mass shootings.
The rifle used in the shooting was revealed to be purchased online in Texas and transferred to the suspect at a local firearms store.
Authorities also recovered a shotgun, acquired from a separate dealership, in Betts’ car.
On Friday, Betts’ friend Ethan Kollie was arrested on federal firearms charges accused of possessing a firearm while using or addicted to a controlled substance and falsely filling out a firearms application form.
Kollie also bought armor and a 100-round magazine for Betts, authorities said. But they said there was no evidence he knew what Betts planned.
Federal authorities say Ethan Kollie, left, a friend of the Ohio shooter Connor Betts, right, bought him body armor and a firearm accessory earlier this year. Betts opened fire in a popular entertainment district, killing his sister and eight others
Kollie will appear Wednesday in federal court. His attorney said he has been cooperating with investigators.
‘He was as shocked and surprised as everyone else that Mr. Betts committed the massacre,’ attorney Nick Gounaris said Monday.
In an interview with federal agents, Kollie said he had done hard drugs, marijuana and LSD with Betts several times a week between 2014 and 2015, the affidavit says. Still, prosecutors emphasized that Kollie did not intentionally help plan the shootings.
Prosecutors unsealed a charge against Kollie, pictured, that accused him of lying about not using marijuana on federal firearms forms in the purchase of a pistol not used in the shooting
Prosecutors accused Kollie of lying about not using marijuana on federal firearms forms in the purchase of a pistol that wasn’t used in the shooting.
Possessing a firearm as an unlawful user of a controlled substance is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Making a false statement regarding firearms carries a potential maximum sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment.
Police have said there was nothing in Betts’ background to prevent him from buying the gun.