UPDATE: Law enforcement authorities have identified the Dayton shooter. He is a 24-year-old white dude from a nearby suburb. I won’t print his name here, but you can visit the NY Post and read it there if you like.
Original article continues:
As with all such violent events, details are still few and far between, but another mass shooting broke out in the early hours of the morning in Dayton, Ohio. Coming less than a day after the attack in El Paso, this one ended differently. The shooter is dead, along with nine victims and more than two dozen others were injured. (NY Post)
Nine people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said.
Dayton police tweeted that an active shooter situation began in the Oregon District at 1:22 a.m., but that officers nearby were able to “put an end to it quickly.” At least 16 others were taken to local hospitals with injuries, police said.
The suspected shooter’s identity has not been released.
We’ll no doubt be receiving updates throughout the day, but this attack seems to fall into a pattern with others we’ve seen. A local spokesperson for the county said that the male suspect was wearing body armor of some type and was armed with both a .223 rifle with extra magazines and a handgun. He arrived in the vicinity of a popular, upscale nightclub and began firing. Police responded quickly. Someone at the club reportedly attempted to stop him by grabbing the rifle barrel, at which point he pulled his handgun. By then the police had arrived, however, and shot him dead at the scene. The Mayor reported that the police were already in the vicinity and the shooter was dead in “less than a minute” after the shooting began.
Having this event come so closely on the heels of the El Paso attack immediately made me wonder if this date holds some significance. But looking back through the history of mass shootings in the United States, it really doesn’t seem to match up to any of the really massive attacks. It’s close to the anniversary of the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting in 2012 (August 5th), but it’s not an exact match and neither of these incidents appeared to target a religious minority.
I suppose it’s possible that the news out of El Paso prompted the Dayton shooter to execute a plan he had already been working on, but it might also just have been a random coincidence. One other odd data point here is the timing of the attack. The vast majority, though not all of the “random” mass shootings in the modern era (meaning those that weren’t rooted in domestic violence, a disgruntled worker, etc.) take place during daylight hours. Likely because it’s easier to find large crowds during the day. This attack kicked off after one o’clock in the morning. Why?
Speaking of the El Paso shooter, it’s not yet confirmed but looking more and more likely that a manifesto was published in addition to law enforcement having the alleged perpetrator in custody. It speaks of a “Hispanic invasion” so the guy was clearly a racist on top of being a homicidal maniac.
If the Dayton shooter didn’t leave a similar missive behind, finding a motive will be more difficult. Keep in mind that we still have no clue what set off the Las Vegas shooter to this day.
Since both of these events turned into political fodder before all the bodies had even been recovered (unavoidable these days it seems), here are a few things to look out for later in the day. Where did the Dayton shooter obtain his weapons and did he do so legally? Would any current or proposed gun control laws have prevented this? Did he have any sort of digital paper trail online offering a hint as to why he wanted to shoot up that club? Did he have some sort of conflict with people at the club or was this totally random?
Of course, the only truly important question is whether or not this could have been prevented. It will probably be quite some time before we can tackle that one if we ever get an answer at all.