A mass shooting in Dayton's popular Oregon District left nine dead and at least 27 wounded. Here's some of what we know and how you can help.
A 24-year-old gunman killed nine people and injured at least 27 shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday in the 400 block of East 5th St. in Dayton's buzzy Oregon District before being killed by “multiple Dayton police officers,” according to a police spokesperson.
The shooting unfolded just hours after a gunman's rampage in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, left 21 dead, a circumstance that allowed President Trump to address dual mass shootings in a single tweet, which is peak 2019 America. “God bless the people of El Paso, Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio,” he wrote on Sunday.
Dispatch reporters have been in Dayton since early Sunday, and you should take time to read the paper's continuing, in-depth coverage.
Here's a rundown of the key points that have been reported, some of the political response and a couple of the ways you can contribute in the aftermath.
-NPR compiled brief bios on the nine victims, who ranged in age from 22 to 57. Those killed include: Lois L. Oglesby, 27, Megan K. Betts, 22, Saeed Saleh, 38, Derrick R. Fudge, 57, Logan M. Turner, 30, Nicholas P. Cumer, 25, Thomas J. McNichols, 25, Monica E. Brickhouse, 39, Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis, 36.
-The shooter was identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts. His sister, Megan, was among the victims.
-In a press conference, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said the suspect was engaged and neutralized within 30 seconds of firing the first shot.
-The suspect committed the shooting while wearing a mask, a bulletproof vest and hearing protection, and was armed with a “.223 high-capacity” gun equipped with a 100-round drum magazine (pictured here).
-Of the 27 injured, 12 remained in the hospital as of Sunday, one in critical condition.
-On Twitter, Republican Sen. Rob Portman shared a pair of messages thanking police for the quick response and offering prayers to the victims and their families. He also wrote, “First and foremost, let's get all the facts and help the community heal,” pushing back at gun-control critics who have called out politicians for sending up thoughts and prayers in the wake of these types of mass shootings but never addressing gun reform.
-Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also thanked first responders and offered his Twitter prayers to the victims and their families. He also ordered the flags in Ohio flown at half-mast. Three hours later, again on Twitter, DeWine shared an oddly timed, oddly chipper video hyping the Ohio State Fair. On Sunday evening, he appeared at a vigil in Dayton and was shouted down by chants of “Do something!” To those anticipating any meaningful gun reform proposals: The first piece of legislation DeWine signed into law as governor was the pro-gun House Bill 86. Also, during DeWine’s gubernatorial campaign, he said he supported allowing Ohioans to carry concealed handguns absent a sheriff-issued permit, which requires firearm training and a criminal background check. Still, on Sunday the Dispatch quoted DeWine as saying “everything’s on the table” as far as potential changes in gun policy.
-Republican State Rep. Candice Keller, whose district rests just outside Dayton, posted about the mass shootings on Facebook, placing blame for the tragedies on a range of right-wing boogeymen. Keller named everything from drag queens and gay marriage to professional athletes protesting injustice and “snowflakes, who can't accept a duly elected President.” Never mentioned in her post, which was deleted but preserved in screen caps that circulated on social media and in the media: guns, white nationalism or the toxic rhetoric that bubbles up from internet cesspools like 8chan before being aired in scrubbed-up form on mainstream right-wing media channels and, inevitably, in the feed of a particular Twitter-obsessed politician.
-Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said on CNN Sunday that Sen. Mitch McConnell should cancel the Senate's recess “tomorrow” in order to hold a vote on a House-passed bill that would mandate background checks for all gun purchases.
-As a reminder, in June the grassroots group Ohioans for Gun Safety initiated a campaign to collect 132,887 signatures from registered voters to present a citizen-initiated statute to the Ohio General Assembly that would mandate background checks on all firearm sales, a measure favored by roughly 90 percent of Americans in polls.
-For those able to make a financial contribution, the Dayton Foundation launched an Oregon District Tragedy Fund for the victims.
-And for anyone wishing to make their thoughts on the issue known to those in power, here's a handy guide for contacting elected officials.