The gunman who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday morning had invited friends out for a night on the town — raising the question of whether he intended to target people he knew.
Connor Betts, 24, opened fire in an alleyway in a popular entertainment district just after 1 a.m. on Sunday, roughly two hours after he was seen entering a bar. A source who said he was close to Betts told the Daily Mail that the suspect “had been inviting a lot of his friends out to the bar” on Saturday night.
“I was one phone-call away from being there that night — in the car, in the bar,” the friend, who asked to remain unidentified, told the Daily Mail.
Betts began shooting about 45 minutes after he was seen leaving a bar by himself. He killed nine people, including his own sister, 22-year-old Megan Betts, and shot a male friend, who survived. Connor, his sister, and the friend had driven together to the Oregon District on Saturday night and went to a bar together, before Connor separated from the trio at about 12:15 a.m.
Less than a minute after the rampage began, police fatally shot Betts as he approached the entrance to the bar Ned Peppers.
“Did he mean to hurt more people that night? I don’t know,” the friend said. “The question haunts me.”
Police have not publicly commented on a possible motive for the shooting, and it is unclear if Megan Betts was an intended target.
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[Feature image: AP Photo/John Minchillo]