‘Did he mean to hurt more people?’ Dayton gunman invited ‘a lot’ of people out to the bar the night of mass shooting, friend says

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]