WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The sister of the Dayton, Ohio mass shooting suspect was confirmed to be among the nine people who were fatally shot on Sunday morning.
- Megan Betts, the 22-year-old sister of gunman Connor Betts, was reported by police to be among the initial victims when Connor opened fire on the streets of a popular nightlife area.
- Dayton Police officials said in a Sunday press conference that Connor was killed 30 seconds after the shooting began.
Megan Betts, the Dayton, Ohio gunman’s 22-year-old sister was among those killed in the mass shooting that occurred in downtown Oregon District early Sunday morning.
At a press conference on Sunday, Dayton Police Department Chief Richard S. Biehl confirmed that the perpetrator, 24-year-old Connor Betts from Bellbrook, Ohio, was shot dead within 30 seconds after the first shots were fired. Connor was also found to be carrying an AR-15 style pistol using .223 Remington with a 100-round drum magazine which he fired into crowds and fatally shot nine people.
Biehl said that Megan initially traveled with Connor in the same car to the downtown area before separating. At 1:05 a.m., the shooter opened fire outside a bar on East 5th Street, a popular nightlife area.
“Right as [Connor] came out of the alleyway [where the first victim was shot], [Megan] and another male who was a companion of the suspect was shot and wounded,” said Biehl who also stressed that Conner’s sister was “not the first victim” rather, she was among the initial victims.
Citing witnesses, NBC News reports the shooting took place near the entrance of the Ned Peppers bar. According to the bar’s Facebook post, it said police who were regularly stationed next to their business “engaged the shooter and neutralized the threat.”
“Had this individual made it through the doorway of Ned Peppers with that level of weaponry, there would have been catastrophic level of injury and loss of life,” added Biehl on Sunday.
According to Megan’s LinkedIn page, she was studying Earth and environmental sciences at Wright State University. Recently, she was a tour guide at the Missoula Smokejumper Visitor Center in Montana, the nation’s largest smokejumper base committed to forest preservation and fire prevention.
Betts was well-liked by her peers and was described as a “very positive person and caring individual” by Daniel Cottrell, her former supervisor at the center.
Other than Megan, authorities released the names of the other eight people who were killed: Lois Oglesby, 27; Sayid Saleh, 38; Derrick Fudge, 57; Logan Turner, 30; Nicholas Cumer, 25; Thomas McNichols, 25; Beatrice Warren Curtis, 36; Monica Brickhouse, 39.
A source familiar with the investigation tells PEOPLE that while they believe the gunman had been planning for something like this to happen, they also said that “it’s too soon to speculate on why he acted when he did.”