Mass shooting latest challenge for Dayton: ‘Amazed by our great resiliency’

The mass shooting that left 10 people dead in Dayton’s Oregon District on Sunday is the latest, and worst, event in what the mayor described as a rough year for the city, its residents and first responders.

A masked gunman wearing body armor opened fire in a busy Oregon District shortly about 1 a.m. Sunday, killing nine people and wounding at least 26 others before Dayton police officers returned fire and killed him about a minute after gunfire erupted.

“Dayton has been through a lot already this year,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said at a Sunday morning press conference, “and I continue to be amazed by our great resiliency.”

Tornadoes hit the Dayton region on Memorial Day night, leaving a trail of extensive damage in the Old North Dayton area and in several other surrounding communities.

The tornadoes came after a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated group brought nine people to Courthouse Square for a rally that attracted hundreds of others to counter the demonstration. The event drew national attention to the city and praise for how the safety and security measures were handled.

Whaley had that same praise for swift reaction of officers early Sunday.

“In less than one minute, Dayton officers neutralized the shooter,” she said. “That saved literally hundreds of lives.”

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“It’s been a tough six months for our community, but you work through that,” Whaley said, adding that the focus immediately is on the family and friends directly affected by Sunday’s shooting.

She said after that, the focus needs to include police and paramedics.

“We want to take care of our first responders. Our first responders have been through a lot this year,” she said.

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