DAYTON, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine praised police officers and first responders who shot and killed a 24-year-old mass shooting suspect in less than a minute after the shooting started in Dayton early Sunday morning.
“The officers who were involved in ending this tragedy — their professionalism, their quickness, their amazing courage and their response undoubtedly saved many, many lives. We will never know how many lives were saved,” DeWine said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.
Connor Betts, of Bellbrook, Ohio, has been identified as the mass shooting suspect who killed nine people just after 1 a.m. outside of Ned Peppers in the 400 block of E. Fifth Street.
Ten people are dead, including the suspect. Twenty-seven others were hurt, police said.
DeWine said he and his wife, Fran, toured the area where the shooting happened Sunday.
He said the number of victims could have been much higher.
“The assailant was obviously very, very close to being able to kill dozens and dozens more people. In this tragedy, we have to thank our first responders, we have to thank our police department for the amazing job that they have done,” DeWine said.
DeWine offered condolences to the victims, their families and the city of Dayton.
“My wife, Fran, and I want to express to the victims, the victims’ families, the Dayton community, our great sympathy,” DeWine said. “This is a heartbreaking tragedy and it is the type of tragedy that you pray never comes to your state or to your community.”
He said Dayton and Montgomery county officials had practiced in advance for a tragedy like the mass shooting that happened Sunday.
Their preparation showed, he said.
“You practice for these tragedies and you pray they never occur. If you don’t practice, you’re not ready. It’s clear — Dayton was ready. The community was ready.”