Award-winning artist John Legend, an Ohio native, surprised survivors and victims’ families of the Dayton, Ohio mass shooting that took place in the early morning hours last Sunday.
Legend was touring the Dayton area with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley in the city’s Oregon District, where the shooting — which left nine dead and several more injured — took place. Legend and Daley held a press conference after their tour and that’s where those in attendance received a pleasantly unexpected surprise from the musician.
According to WHIO, Legend visited several local shops including Beck + Call, Brim, and Heart Mercantile before grabbing a bite to eat at Corner Kitchen. He held his pop-up performance at Blind Bob’s Bar — an establishment located near the site of the mass shooting.
Before putting on the show, Legend explained to the crowd why he was so impacted by the news of the shooting.
“I just wanted to support Dayton and this area,” Legend said. “I grew up in Springfield. We were all struck by this tragedy.”
He also shared a message of hope and reminded the audience to vote for politicians who are willing to support gun safety legislation.
“Continue to support each other and be as loving and caring as we can with each other, and then I think we have to vote as if our lives depended on it because they really do. We need to vote for politicians that will support gun safety measures,” the Emmy, Tony, Oscar and Grammy-award winning musician said.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 12, 2019
Legend later tweeted about the surprise performance, explaining that his heart was broken over the events that took place that day and hoped that playing music would “bring comfort” to those who were still suffering.
I just played a few songs to try to help bring comfort to some of the survivors of last week's tragedy in Dayton. My heart breaks for everyone who lost someone. I love how everyone rallies around one another during… https://t.co/MB91chIKqf
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 12, 2019
According to CNN, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said on Tuesday the alleged shooter, 24-year-old Connor Betts, was obsessed with violence and mass shootings. He had even reportedly expressed an interest in committing a mass shooting prior to the incident that took place in Dayton.
In contrast to the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas that took place less than 24 hours before the Dayton shooting, police have yet to discover Betts’ motive for the deadly attack. The alleged El Paso shooter admitted to police that he specifically targeted Mexicans, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
Betts, who was armed with a high-powered rifle equipped with a 100-round drum-style magazine, was able to fire off 41 shots in under 30 seconds. One of the victims included his sister.
Local police shot and killed Betts 30 seconds after he opened fire on the large crowd of innocent bystanders.