Dayton shooter planned attack but police are uncertain if sister was a target

The Dayton, Ohio shooter had a fascination with mass shootings that went back at least as far as his high school years, but police still aren’t certain why he finally unleashed that violence last weekend. One element of the attack which seemed significant was the fact that the shooter’s sister was one of his victims. Did that mean this attack had some kind of personal or family motive? CNN reports that authorities are still divided on whether the shooting of his sister was intentional but they do believe it was pre-planned, noting the shooter had visited the same area the previous night:

“This was a plan well before he got to the Oregon District (that night),” Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said…

Betts, his sister, Megan Betts, and a friend arrived together to the Oregon District of Dayton at 11:04 p.m. Saturday and went to a bar named Blind Bobs, Biehl said. Betts split off to another bar called Ned Peppers at 12:14 a.m., and after 30 minutes he went back to the vehicle in a parking lot to gather the weapon and change clothes, Biehl said.

With a weapon in his backpack, Betts walked toward an alley and began firing at 1:04 a.m., authorities said. Based on a timeline pieced together from security cameras, police engaged with him after less than 20 seconds and Betts was killed 32 seconds after his first shot.

Betts knew that his sister and friend were still in the area when he opened fire, Biehl said, but police are still divided on whether he intentionally sought out and killed his sister.

Betts fired 41 shots in the 30 seconds before he was killed by police. He knew his sister could be there but maybe he wasn’t aiming at her in particular when he fired into the crowd. He certainly seemed intent on hurting a lot more people if he hadn’t been stopped so quickly.

There was a press conference a short time ago where Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl gave an update on the investigation. He said his own investigators still have “radically different” views on whether or not Betts was targeting his sister and friend that night. A bit later in this clip (55:20) he says there’s no clarity on Betts’ motive at this point and he’s not certain there ever will be, but he believes he does understand the general mindset that let to the attack.