DAYTON, Ohio — Dayton city leaders and community members alike are searching for comfort and issuing support after lives were lost during an active shooter situation early Sunday morning.
“An event occurred in our historic Oregon district,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “The suspect opened fire along the Oregon district. He was wearing body armor and used a .223 caliber high-capacity magazine.”
What should have been a fun night in Dayton, Ohio is now forever marked by tragedy.
“These tragedies you pray to God never occur,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Amazing courage – response undoubtedly saved many many lives.”
Police say nine people are dead and 27 injured, by the shooter identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts. Police say his own little sister, 22-year-old Megan Betts, is among the dead.
The shooter was killed by police in less than 60 seconds, but not before changing so many lives.
“I started calling our friends, started calling family. We got really worried. Our friends usually hang out here. We were here last weekend,” said Noel Tayeh, who frequents the Oregon District.
“I never want to feel that again. I never want to be in the situation where I’m waiting for my friends to text me back that they’re alive,” Christian Stargell, who lives in the area, told FOX 8.
Now, members of the Dayton community are questioning why this horrible tragedy occurred.
“I found out I just missed this. I don’t even know what to call it, horrible tragedy,” Dayton resident Dave Cron said.
“Step in, get involved with your children. That’s how you fix it,” said Michael Carrico. “You can take all the guns away. They’re going to come here and beat each other with rocks.”
The community gathered for a candlelight vigil Sunday night looking for a sense of comfort, which had been stolen in a matter of seconds.
“It’s so sad. Everybody went out for a drink, just like we did, and they didn’t get to come home.”