Connor Betts motives still unclear
Connor Betts (24) was the man who shot nine people in Dayton, Ohio, a bar yesterday. One of the victims is the 22-year-old sister of the shooter. According to the police, Betts and her arrived at the bar, left again and later came back with a gun. Whether she was also the target of Betts is still unclear.
Officially, we still know little about his background or motives. Although Betts was white and six of the nine victims were black Americans, the police say a racist motive is unlikely. The reason for his act therefore seems to be different from that of the right-wing extremist nationalist Patrick Crusius (21). The day before yesterday he committed an attack in El Paso in Texas, which was aimed at people of Latin American descent. Twenty people were killed in that attack, on the grounds of a Walmart branch.
Police in Dayton say that Betts was only known to them through a few traffic violations. According to the police, this means there were no obstacles for him to buy a weapon. Conversations with acquaintances of Betts and his profiles on social media nonetheless reveal a number of striking things.
Former classmates say that Betts was suspended seven years ago for drawing up a hit list of people he wanted to die. Later a suspension followed for a rape list, a list of names of women he wanted to assault.
In the American media there are now also several testimonials from people who say that Betts was a very normal, nice man. “Always friendly, I never heard him talk about violence or say anything racist,” said a gas station customer where Betts worked.
The Twitter account that has now been taken offline that media attribute to Betts contains many statements of support to left-wing politicians in the United States. He is much more negative about various right-wing politicians and, for example, the strict immigration laws in the US.
On the day that Republican Senator John McCain died, he wrote: “F * ck John McCain.” About President Trump’s election victory in 2016, he wrote: “This is bad”. And about the riots by right-wing extremists in Charlottesville, he wrote: “Kill every fascist.”
Betts also calls himself a fan of metal music and anime cartoons. In his bio, the place for personal information on Twitter, he writes:
I’m going to hell and I’m not coming back.
We do not yet know why he started shooting on the street yesterday, but it seems that Betts wanted to do a big massacre. According to the police, at the time of his act, he was wearing a bullet-proof vest, a mask and ear protection against the bangs.
Betts fired an American-made AR15 assault rifle. He had special pockets with a lot of mags for this, so that reloading was quick. A shotgun lay in his car.
Betts started shooting at the street and tried to enter a bar. If that had happened, it would have been “catastrophic”, police said. But it didn’t come to that. Agents who happened to be in the area responded to the shots within one minute, Betts being shot on the street.