FBI: Dayton mass shooter fantasized about killing for years

Nov 28, 2021, 7:33 PM | Updated: Nov 29, 2021, 10:30 am
FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2019 file photo, pedestrians pass a makeshift memorial for the slain and inj...

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2019 file photo, pedestrians pass a makeshift memorial for the slain and injured victims of a mass shooting that occurred in the Oregon District in Dayton, Ohio. Relatives of four people killed when a gunman opened fire two years ago have sued the maker of a high-capacity magazine used by the shooter. The lawsuit against Nevada-based Kyung Chang Industry USA Inc. alleges negligence, negligent entrustment, and public nuisance by the company. The lawsuit filed in Nevada o n Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021 says high-capacity magazines have only one purpose: to kill multiple people as quickly as possible. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The man who gunned down nine people in Dayton, Ohio, two years ago had fantasized about mass shootings, serial killings and murder-suicide for at least a decade before carrying out the Aug. 4, 2019, attack, the FBI said Monday as it announced the conclusion of its investigation.

Shooter Connor Betts didn’t share specific details with friends or family members about his fantasies, underscoring the importance of people being attuned to subtle changes in an individual, the agency said.

A phenomenon known as “bystander fatigue” may account why no one reported Betts to authorities before the shooting, according to a two-page FBI summary of its report.

That term is used “to describe the passivity, inaction, or inattention to concerning behaviors observed by individuals who have a close, interpersonal relationship to a person of concern due to their prolonged exposure to the person’s erratic or otherwise troubling behavior over time,” the FBI said.

Betts, 24, was killed by police half a minute after he opened fire in Dayton’s crowded Oregon District entertainment area. Armed with an AR-15 style rifle and an extended ammunition magazine, Betts killed nine people, including his sister, and wounded dozens more.

The FBI’s summary of its investigation did not address whether Betts intended to kill his sister, Megan, or if her death was inadvertent.

After the shooting, high school classmates said Betts was suspended years ago for compiling a “hit list” of fellow students he wanted to harm. Two of the classmates said Betts had also been suspended after he came to school with a list of female students he wanted to sexually assault.

Early on, police investigators said Betts had a “history of obsession with violent ideations with mass shootings and expressed a desire to commit a mass shooting.” The FBI said it uncovered evidence Betts “looked into violent ideologies.”

A friend of Connor Betts told investigators he bought body armor, a 100-round magazine and a part for Betts’ gun. However, they concluded there was no indication he knew of Betts’ plans.

The friend, Ethan Kollie, pleaded guilty to unrelated federal firearms charges and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

In August, family members of four victims sued the magazine maker, Kyung Chang Industry USA Inc., saying the device serves no purpose other than allowing for the killing of as many people as possible. The magazine allowed Betts to fire 41 rounds in 32 seconds.

___

Seewer reported from Toledo.

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FBI: Dayton mass shooter fantasized about killing for years