Megan Betts was remembered by a friend and former classmate as a “sweetheart” and “very funny” shortly after she was identified as a victim in the mass shooting that police say was carried out by her older brother in downtown Dayton.
On Sunday afternoon, Dayton police released the names of the nine people killed in the early morning attack that took place in a nightclub district in the city. As The Daily Beast reported, police identified 24-year-old Connor Betts as the shooter and said that the dead included his sister, 22-year-old Megan Betts, as well as her boyfriend. They were reportedly found dead inside a car, though that was later corrected by the police.
The slaying of Megan Betts highlights what has been a puzzling attack to investigators. Police said they have not discerned a motive in the mass shooting, as those killed included a mix of ages and races. A slaying just hours earlier in El Paso, Texas, was being investigated as a potential hate crime after police discussed a far-right manifesto posted online that railed against a “Hispanic invasion.”
In Dayton, there do not appear to be any immediate clues as to the motive of the attack. As The Dayton Daily News reported, Connor Betts did not have a criminal record outside of minor traffic infractions, and a sweep of his now-deleted social media pages do not give any clues about extremist ideologies that could have motivated the attack. As police said, the victims included people of different ages, both black and white.
Authorities said that police officers who were already patrolling the area were able to respond and kill Connor Betts within one minute of the shooting starting. Afterward, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said that the attack could have been significantly worse were it not for their fast response.
“We will never know how many lives were saved,” DeWine said at a Sunday afternoon press conference, via The Daily Beast. “The police department and the mayor gave me, my wife and I, the tour. The assailant was obviously very very close to being able to kill dozens and dozens more people.”
In the wake of the slaying, information is starting to trickle out about the victims, including Connor’s younger sister. One neighbor and former classmate of Megan Betts spoke to WLWT, remembering the slain college student as a “sweetheart” with a good sense of humor.
— Dan Griffin WLWT (@DanGriffinWLWT) August 4, 2019
Assistant Police Chief Lieutenant Colonel Matt Carper confirmed that Megan Betts is the suspect’s sister.
He said that previous reports that she had been found dead in her car are incorrect: “All 9 shooting victims were located in the Oregon district.”https://t.co/BalSBZQ3Gg
— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 4, 2019
A Facebook page identified as belonging to Megan Betts showed that she was due to start her senior year at Wright State University, and worked at the Missoula Smokejumper Visitor Center in Montana. A report from Heavy.com confirmed that she had worked in Montana from May through the end of June.