Dayton mass shooter acted alone in 2019 attack and was fueled by an ‘enduring fascination with mass violence,’ FBI says

The FBI in Cincinnati said Monday that an investigation into the 2019 Dayton, Ohio, mass shooting found the gunman acted alone and was not aligned with a specific ideological group.

“The evidence from the extensive investigation indicated the perpetrator, Connor Betts, was solely responsible for the injuries and deaths that were a result of his actions. He acted alone and was not directed by any organization or aligned to any specific ideological group,” the investigative report says.

Betts fired 41 shots inside Dayton’s popular Oregon District on August 4, 2019. He killed his sister, Megan Betts, 22, and eight others, police said. Twenty-seven people were injured in the attack before patrol officers killed Betts just 30 seconds after he opened fire.

As far as motive, Betts was consumed by an “enduring fascination with mass violence,” the FBI found.

“The investigation revealed the attacker fantasized about mass shootings, serial killings, and murder-suicide for at least a decade without sharing specific details with friends or family,” the report says.

This obsession, the FBI says, combined with a long battle with mental health issues and “the successive loss of significant stabilizing anchors” eventually led to Betts’ decision to plan and commit a mass shooting.

The FBI said its investigation also revealed Betts “likely violated federal law by lying about his drug use in early 2019 when he purchased the firearm used in the attack.”

Betts acquired the materials for his attack on the internet and was assisted by a “known associate,” the FBI said.

The FBI identified Betts’ associate as Ethan Kollie. Kollie was arrested for illegal possession of certain firearms, including the gun used in the Dayton attack, and for lying on a firearms transaction record ATF form, the FBI said. Kollie pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 32 months in prison in February 2020.

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