“Funny, intelligent with clear blue eyes and a sweet smile,” is how Connor Betts (24) is described in his obituary. Betts is also the shooter who set up a massacre in Dayton, Ohio last week. There was a lot of fuss about the “insensitive death report” after which the parents of the 24-year-old shooter offered their apologies.
On August 4, Connor Betts went armed and wrapped in a bulletproof vest to the Ned Peppers bar in a historic neighborhood in Ohio in the United States. There he mercilessly opened fire and killed nine people. He himself was shot after less than half a minute by a few police officers rushing in.
To commemorate their son, the parents of Betts wrote a death notice that was distributed online. In it, they describe the shooter as “a funny, eloquent and intelligent man with bright blue eyes and a friendly smile.” That the same intelligent man is responsible for the death of nine people, including his sister, is not mentioned.
The message shocked many Americans, after which the parents took the message offline. The death notice was replaced by regret. “Stephen and Moira Betts regret that the wording of the death notice was insensitive to their son Connor and did not do justice to the terrible tragedy he caused. In their grief they have described their son as they knew him, without wanting to deny the horror of his last act,” they write in the regret.
Ten people were killed in the shooting, including the shooter, and 27 were wounded. The FBI is investigating the case. “The shooter was Connor Betts, white man, 24 years old,” said Matt Carper, a police officer in Dayton. Betts came from the town of Bellbrook on the outskirts of Dayton. He studied at the Sinclair Community College in Dayton and worked for the past two years as an employee at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Centerville, Ohio. Before that, he was a handyman at a gas station for three years.
Nothing is yet known about his motives. The police did a house search in a house in Bellbrook to find out more. “It is still very early in the investigation. Any suggestion about the motive would be irresponsible right now,” said police chief Richard Biehl. “We don’t have enough information to answer the question that everyone wants to know: “why?””