Police Bullets Hit Two Dayton Mass Shooting Victims But Weren't Lethal, Autopsy Finds


1 comment
  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Autopsies have revealed that two victims of the Aug. 4 Dayton mass shooting were also hit by Dayton Police gunfire during the 30-second exchange between officers and shooter Connor Betts.

An autopsy on Betts himself, meanwhile, revealed he had cocaine, alcohol and Xanax in his system when he opened fire on a crowd in the city's popular Oregon District.

Betts used a semi-automatic .223 caliber AR-15 with a 100-round magazine to kill nine people and injure many more during the shooting, which took place about 1 a.m. outside nightclub Ned Peppers.

One of Betts' female victims who was also struck by police bullets died. Officials, however, say that the wounds sustained by that victim from Betts' firing before officers' bullets entered the victim's body were already grave and likely not survivable due to massive blood loss

"We could create hypothetical situations that aren't real, but unless these wounds occurred next to an operating room, they were not survivable," Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger told reporters today of the initial wound from Betts' weapon.

Officials called the wound suffered by another surviving victim "superficial."

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl expressed regret that police gunfire struck innocent bystanders, but stressed that the scene was "chaotic" and that Betts needed to be stopped from shooting more people.

"There is a danger to reacting and a danger to not reacting," Biehl said.

Betts' body had 52 entry and exit wounds — likely representative of 24-26 shots fired by police.

"Until (the suspect) is separated from his weapon, lethal force is warranted," Biehl said, noting that Betts attempted to get up twice after officers initially opened fire on him.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.