It was a troubling sign: When Adelia Johnson went on a first date with the man who would later murder nine people in Dayton, Ohio, he showed her a video of a mass shooting.
The shooter, Connor Betts, 24, also took Johnson to a gun range, she told Today. Another disturbing sign was that he performed in a heavy metal band whose lyrics were sexually violent, she said.
The pair dated for several months and bonded over the fact that they both had mental illness, but she broke up with him in May, Johnson told the show.
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On Sunday, at 1:05 a.m., the shooter opened fire in the streets of the lively Oregon District of Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people and injuring 27. One of the fatal victims was the shooter’s sister, 22-year-old Megan Betts, with whom he had grown up in the Dayton suburbs.
About 30 seconds into his shooting spree, the killer was shot by police and died from his injuries.
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Authorities are still trying to ascertain the killer’s motive: Dayton police chief Richard Biehl said at a Sunday press conference, “We are not seeing any indication of race being a motive.”
Johnson agrees that the shooter was likely not motivated by bigotry.
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“This isn’t about race, this isn’t about religion, it’s none of those things,” Johnson said. “This is a man who was in pain and didn’t get the help that he needed.”
Theo Gainey, a high school classmate, described the shooter as “kind of a loner, bit of an outcast.” He added, “Lots of people saw kind of a dark side in him.”
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The Dayton massacre was the second mass shooting in the United States in less than 24 hours. The day before, 22 people were fatally shot in a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
Aside from Megan Betts, the victims of the Dayton attack are: Lois Oglesby, 27; Saeed Saleh, 38; Derrick Fudge, 57; Logan Turner, 30; Nicholas Cumer, 25; Thomas McNichols, 25; Beatrice Warren Curtis, 36; Monica Brickhouse, 39.