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FBI: Dayton Mass Shooter Motivated by ‘Enduring Fascination with Mass Violence’

Mass shooter Connor Betts. Photo: Facebook

By Steve Neavling

A gunman who opened fire in downtown Dayton, Ohio and killed nine people and wounded 27 others in August 2019 had an “enduring fascination with mass violence,” according to the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. 

Connor Betts also likely had mental health issues, the report, which was released Monday, concludes, ABC News reports.  

The FBI found that Betts acted alone and was not acting on behalf of an idealogical group. 

“The FBI’s BAU assessed the attacker’s enduring fascination with mass violence and his inability to cope with a convergence of personal factors, to include a decade-long struggle with multiple mental health stressors and the successive loss of significant stabilizing anchors experienced prior to August 4, 2019, likely were the primary contributors to the timing and finality of his decision to commit a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio,” the report states.

The shooting came one day after another gunman killed 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. 

Although Betts had “suicidal and violent fantasies,” there were no specific signs that he was dangerous to others, the report states that 

“This underscores the importance of bystanders’ attentiveness to more subtle changes an individual may exhibit that could be indicative of their decision to commit violence, such as a change in personal circumstances, an increase in perceived stressors, or language indicating they may be contemplating suicide,” the FBI said.


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