As everyone else ran in the opposite direction, several police officers defined the word “duty” by moving toward the gunman cutting down victims outside of a Dayton, Ohio, bar early Sunday.
A surveillance video of the response was distributed Sunday by Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl.
The video shows the initial police response to Connor Betts, who was armed with a .223-caliber rifle and a magazine capable of holding up to 100 rounds of ammunition.
Biehl said officers fired upon Betts within seconds of the first blasts from Betts’ weapon and that within 30 seconds, Betts was “neutralized.”
Biehl said six officers fired on Betts, keeping him from entering Ned Peppers Bar.
“Had this individual made it through the doorway of Ned Peppers, there would have been catastrophic injury and loss of life,” he said.
Betts killed nine people and injured 32.
On Monday, Biehl told reporters that Betts could have had 250 rounds of ammunition in magazines with him, if all the magazines were full. Investigators had not yet determined how full the magazines actually were.
(The Dayton Daily News reported that the chief said Betts had 250 rounds on him, and this article initially repeated that claim. However, the chief clearly said during the news conference cited by the Daily News that investigators still did not have a full count of the number of rounds present. — Ed. note.)
He said that Megan Betts, the gunman’s sister, arrived in the city’s historic Oregon District along with her brother and one of her friends, “but they were separated at some point later in the evening.”
Megan Betts was killed in her brother’s rampage. Police are unsure if her death was intentional.
The Dayton officers were praised for their response to the incident.
“If they had not been there, the shooter would have gotten into an establishment and hundreds would have been dead on Sunday morning instead of nine,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley told Fox News.
Whaley said the officers who responded were “really well-trained.”
Speaking as a father, Republican Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio also praised the police response.
“It is extraordinary that they were able to respond so quickly. As a result of the police’s action my daughter and hundreds of others who were down in the Oregon District last night are alive,” he said, according to WCPO-TV.
These 6 police officers saved countless lives last night. These are Dayton’s Heroes:
-Sgt. William C. Knight
-Officer Brian Rolfes
-Officer Jeremy Campbell
-Officer Vincent Carter
-Officer Ryan Nabel
-Officer David Denlinger
Thank you for keeping us safe! #DaytonStrong
— Daniel Palmer (@PrezPalmer) August 4, 2019
The Daily News gave the names of the officers involved as Sgt. William C. Knight and Officers Brian Rolfes, Jeremy Campbell, Vincent Carter, Ryan Nabe and David Denlinger.
Knight is a 22-year veteran. The others all joined the department in 2016.
Police responded so quickly because they were already near the area where the shooting took place.
“In most situations, we don’t see this type of reaction. The officers happened to be near and they happened to be able to respond. We were fortunate in this situation,” former Secret Service agent and law enforcement analyst Evy Poumpouras told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Monday.
“We’re seeing so many more of these, police are having to adjust and go into these situations and respond, it’s a really difficult time to be in law enforcement right now,” she added.
CORRECTION, August 5, 2019: The Dayton Daily News reported that Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said Betts had 250 rounds on him, and this article initially repeated that claim. However, the chief clearly said during the news conference cited by the Daily News that investigators still did not have a full count of the number of rounds present. We have inserted a note in the article where we revised it to include this clarification.
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