Police records reveal last texts sent, received by Oregon District shooter

The FBI and Dayton police announced Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, they closed the 26-month investigation into the Aug. 4, 2019, Oregon District mass shooting. A Dayton Strong sign still stands in front of Ned Peppers Bar, near where the fatal shooting took place. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Credit: Marshall Gorby

caption arrowCaption
The FBI and Dayton police announced Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, they closed the 26-month investigation into the Aug. 4, 2019, Oregon District mass shooting. A Dayton Strong sign still stands in front of Ned Peppers Bar, near where the fatal shooting took place. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Connor Betts’ final communications with friend, sister gave no warning of attack.

Interactions that Oregon District shooter Connor Betts had with his best friend and sister shortly before going on a deadly rampage — wounding the friend and killing his sister and eight others — gave no indication Betts was about to commit a mass shooting, according to investigative records obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

The records, obtained from the Dayton Police Department using Ohio public records law, include text message and cellphone records, and interviews with his friend Chace Beard.

Police records say Connor Betts, Beard and Betts’ sister Megan Betts all had drinks at Blind Bob’s together around 11:20 p.m. on Aug. 3, 2019.

Connor Betts’ phone and text records show he called his sister at 12:08 a.m. Less than a minute later he texted her saying he didn’t mean to hang up on her, to which she responded “It’s fine dude!”

After several rounds of drinks with his friend and sister, including shots with Beard and the chef at the taco truck on East Fifth Street, Connor Betts left at 12:25 a.m. and went to Ned Peppers. He texted Beard that they should join him.

“Bar looks pretty good so far,” Betts texted.

Beard responded: “I think we are good over here, only up for about another hour or so tho.”

“Gotcha,” replied Betts.

Surveillance footage shows Connor Betts had a drink and talked to unknown people at Ned Peppers for a few minutes before leaving and walking to his car, where he retrieved his gun, a mask and body armor, police records say.

A few minutes later, Beard texted Connor Betts a Reddit article. A search of the URL leads to the post: “Twitter users are escaping online hate by switching profiles to Germany, where Nazism is illegal.”

Shortly before 1 a.m., Beard texts Connor Betts: “We getting tacos homie.”

“Okay,” Betts replied.

Minutes later, Connor Betts shot and killed his first victim, Saeed Saleh, in the alley next to Blind Bob’s. Half a second later, Megan Betts — standing with Beard in line at the taco truck — fell to the ground after being shot in the chest.

Betts continued to fire on people in the street. Dayton police officers shot and killed Betts in less than a minute, after nine people were killed and dozens wounded.

Beard was shot in the hip and was interviewed by police while at the hospital hours after the shooting. Beard was medicated and didn’t appear to know who the shooter was.

In a later interview, police asked Beard if Connor Betts “had ever said anything to him about shooting people or wanting to do something big,” and Beard said he did not. Police also asked about Betts’ history of threatening people and showing an interest in Satanism in high school, as well as his drug use.

Police asked Beard if he knew of any problems between Connor and Megan, and “he stated that he did not and added that Connor was really protective of her,” the report says.

The Dayton police investigative records include detailed descriptions of what happened that night, including firsthand accounts of the horrific scene and heroism by some. It includes little regarding the shooter’s motives.

The FBI in November concluded its 26-month investigation into the motive with a report saying Connor Betts had a history of mental illness and violent fantasies, but that there were no specific warnings he intended to commit a crime. The Dayton Daily News is awaiting the full FBI investigative record, requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

caption arrowCaption
The FBI and Dayton police announced Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, they closed the 26-month investigation into the Aug. 4, 2019, Oregon District mass shooting. A Dayton Strong sign still stands in front of Ned Peppers Bar, near where the fatal shooting took place. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Credit: Marshall Gorby

The FBI and Dayton police announced Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, they closed the 26-month investigation into the Aug. 4, 2019, Oregon District mass shooting. A Dayton Strong sign still stands in front of Ned Peppers Bar, near where the fatal shooting took place. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Credit: Marshall Gorby

caption arrowCaption
The FBI and Dayton police announced Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, they closed the 26-month investigation into the Aug. 4, 2019, Oregon District mass shooting. A Dayton Strong sign still stands in front of Ned Peppers Bar, near where the fatal shooting took place. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

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