9 killed outside Dayton bar hours after El Paso mass shooting

A man wearing body armour and carrying a high-capacity magazine rifle killed nine people and injured 16 in a pre-dawn shooting near a bar in Dayton, western Ohio, on Sunday, city police Lt Col Matt Carper, above right, (Facebook image) said.

The incident happened around 1am at Ned Peppers Bar on East Fifth Street.

The suspected shooter was a 24-year-old male, Connor Betts, Carper said, adding that his 22-year-old sister Meghan Betts was among the victims.

Police are still searching for the motive in the mass shooting.

The area, known as the Oregon District, has many bars and restaurants where people gather in large numbers to spend quiet weekends.   

The gunman would have killed hundreds of people had the police not neutralised him within a minute after he started shooting, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.

Security was on high alert in the city in the wake of Saturday’s shooting in an El Paso shopping centre that left 20 dead and 26 injured. Last Sunday, three people were killed in a shooting at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival in northern California.

Responding to Sunday’s shooting outside the bar, Whaley said it was a terrible day for Dayton.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who had represented the city as a lawmaker, said he is devastated by Sunday’s mass shooting.

Carper said officers in the vicinity rushed to East Fifth Street and shot the attacker before he could turn the bar into a slaughter house.

The gunman was trying to force his way into Ned Peppers Bar by indiscriminately firing at pedestrians on the sidewalk.

Someone at Ned Peppers stopped the man by grabbing the barrel of his gun. The shooter then took a handgun and started firing when police arrived and shot him.

Carper said the suspect fired multiple rounds. Such gun violence is unheard of in Oregon district, he added.

Sunday’s shooting is the 22nd mass killing in the US this year. The first 20 mass killings had left 96 dead.

Police opened the Convention Center for people disconnected from their family members and friends during the shooting.

The FBI is assisting Dayton police with the investigation.