DeWine honors Oregon District victims with moment of silence, calls for STRONG Ohio bill to be passed

Gov. Mike DeWine honored those killed during a shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District one year ago today, having a moment of silence at the beginning of his Tuesday afternoon coronavirus press conference.

“One year ago sounds of laughter and music in Dayton’s Oregon District were replaced with gunshots and screams of terror,” he said. “Nine people who went to the Oregon District to enjoy a night out never came home. Nine people who were fiercely loved by their family and their friends.”

>> Oregon District shooting: What we’ve learned about the victims

DeWine said he recalled the chants of “do something” during a candlelit vigil for the community.

“They had the right to be mad,” he said. “They demanded that Ohio do more to stop gun violence. The words certainly moved me, and I vowed to answer that call.”

In the following months, the state enhanced safety resources for schools and invested in mental health services, the governor said.

He called on the state legislature to pass the STRONG Ohio bill.

>> Ohio lawmakers are debating 33 gun bills. Will any of them become law?

“We must not let the deaths of these nine people be forgotten, nor can we continue to ignore the fact that we have a generation of young, predominately African American men, who are being murdered on the streets of our cities on a daily basis,” he said. “We cannot continue to let this bill languish while people continue to die. Doing nothing is not an option.”

Others across the Miami Valley region and throughout the state reflecting on the tragic night on it’s one-year anniversary Tuesday.

One year ago, Dayton saw one of the most horrific days in its history. And we’ve had many, many hard days since,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said on Twitter. “Yet Dayton continues to shine. We’ve wrapped arms around one another, disrupted our lives to keep others healthy, and stood shoulder to shoulder against injustice. We are a gritty city, and we have shown time and again that we can face any challenge that comes our way.”

The mayor also shared a mosaic made up of dozens of photos submitted by people across the Miami Valley showcasing positive moments in the Dayton area over the last year.

>> Site chosen, plans still under way for permanent Oregon District memorial

The Dayton Police Department and City of Dayton urged those struggling with the anniversary to seek help and reach out for support.

“It’s OK if the next few days/weeks are hard for you, we feel it too,” read a statement from police. “Please reach out to friends/family or professionals if you need to talk.”

“We recognize that the Aug. 4 anniversary may cause anxiety and other feelings relating to tragedy,” the City of Dayton said. “We encourage anyone suffering to seek help by contacting the Montgomery County Victim/Witness Division - 24 Hour Crisis Hotline 937-225-5623.”

“We honor the lives lost and those injured in the Oregon District one year ago today through our collective solidarity and resilience,” said Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County. “Though we cannot gather physically, there are many ways people are coming together to commemorate this day.”

The Cincinnati FBI also released a statement offering support to those impacted and honoring the victims.

>> Is Dayton still strong 1 year after shooting, and then COVID-19, recession and protests?

“On the one-year anniversary of the horrific mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District, the FBI offers our continued support to the victims, their families, and all who were impacted in the community,” the agency posted on Twitter. “We remain engaged with our partners at the Dayton Police Department in this ongoing investigation and will continue to do so to ensure all evidence and information connected to this case is thoroughly examined.”

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