Butler County reacts: Middletown police to provide active shooter training after Dayton shootings

The city of Middletown will host two active shooter awareness presentations next week in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting in Dayton.

Middletown police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said he feels like “we owe it to them” to hold the presentations at noon and 6 p.m. on Aug. 12 inside Middletown Council Chambers at One Donham Plaza.

“We just want to make sure people are aware of what’s around them. What to spot, what red flags (to look for),” he said.

The police department conducts ALICE training, also known as active shooter training, for the schools and city businesses, but “this is a chance for people to bring their kids and say, ‘If you’re at the movies or out somewhere, here’s what you look for.’”

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Dayton police say suspected gunman Connor Betts, 24, allegedly killed nine people — including his sister, Megan — and wounded 32 others just after 1 a.m. Sunday in downtown Dayton. The incident happened in 30 seconds, when Betts allegedly open fire and he was shot and killed by police. A motive hasn’t been determined, according to police.

The officers involved in stopping Betts — Dayton police Sgt. William C. Knight, and officers Jeremy Campbell, Vincent Carter, Ryan Nabel and David Denlinger — are on administrative leave as the investigation continues. Police say that’s standard operating procedure.

Sunday’s incident happened less than 24 hours after a lone gunman in El Paso, Texas shot and killed 20 people and wounded 26 at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Many across Butler County shared their thoughts and condolences after Sunday’s shooting.

Ohio Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., wrote on Twitter: “My heart is broken for the victims of the senseless tragedies in Dayton and El Paso. My wife, Debbie, and I send our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims. What we need now is compassion, unity, and solutions to prevent this from ever happening again.”

Hamilton Mayor Vice Mayor Michael V. Ryan went to college in the Dayton area. He is a 2008 Wright State University graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in communications.

“I’m just heartbroken,” he said. “It’s a beautiful community. Dayton is very close-knit.”

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The vice mayor said he frequented the Oregon District in college and played drums in a band at local establishments.

“They’re doing a lot of work trying to revitalize the city and make it safer. It just breaks my heart that this even happened to them,” said Ryan.

“There are a lot of good people that working real hard to move downtown Dayton in the right direction. This shouldn’t stop them from doing that work. It’s a safe city. It’s a safe part of Dayton, and to allow this one person to ruin that reputation would just be a great loss. It’s just a beautiful community. Strong.”

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