Nine People Fatally Shot in Dayton, Ohio, Outside a Downtown Bar

A summer night out ended in horror in Dayton, Ohio, where a gunman killed nine people and injured 27 others around 1 a.m. Sunday, August 4, in a popular downtown entertainment district.

It was the second mass killing with a firearm in America in less than 24 hours. Earlier Saturday, a mass shooter fatally shot 20 shoppers and wounded 26 others at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton provided details on the bloodshed in her city during morning news conferences. The shooter, who has been identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts, was quickly engaged and killed by patrolling officers, she said. The gunman was wearing body armor and a face covering. He wielded a rifle using .223 caliber ammunition and carried multiple spare high-capacity ammunition magazines, she said.

“If the Dayton Police had not gotten to the shooter in under a minute, hundreds of people in the Oregon District would be dead today,” Whaley said.

The shooting occurred outside the popular Ned Peppers bar. The Dayton Daily News reports that an eyewitness claims the gunman appeared to try to enter the tavern before he was stopped. The victims range in age from 22 to 57. Six of the nine victims were black. The gunman’s sister, who is white, was among the dead.

Photos from the scene show the artifacts of terror and chaos: a constellation of police evidence markers, a pile of shoes left behind by revelers, a bicycle left in the street.

The Associated Press spoke with a 23-year-old woman who said she was outside another bar across the street when the bullets flew. Earlier that night, she and another young woman had complimented each other on their outfits. Now the other young woman, the witness said, was lying on the ground.

“She herself had been to Ned Peppers the night before,” the AP reported. The young woman had remarked that it was the kind of spot “where you don’t have to worry about someone shooting up the place.”

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Nine People Fatally Shot in Dayton, Ohio, Outside a Downtown Bar