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Dayton gunman's family asks for privacy to 'process the horror'

The family of Connor Betts, 24, who killed nine people at a bar in Dayton, Ohio, said they are "devastated" by the incident and offered condolences to the victims' families.
/ Source: TODAY

The family of the gunman who killed nine people and injured dozens of others in a shooting at crowded bar in Dayton, Ohio, has released a statement saying they are "shocked and devastated" by the attack.

Chief Doug Doherty of the Bellbrook Police Department read a prepared statement on Tuesday from the family of Connor Betts, 24, who was killed by police at the scene early Sunday morning after killing his own sister, Megan Betts, 22, as well as eight others.

"The Betts family is shocked and devastated by the events of Sunday morning in the Oregon District,'' the statement read. "They offer their most heartfelt prayers and condolences to all the victims, their families and friends. They thank the first responders from the Dayton police and fire departments for their quick response to minimize casualties and to all who have provided aid and comfort to the victims."

Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio on Aug. 4, 2019.John Minchillo / AP

The family said they are cooperating with the investigation and will not comment further on it.

"The Betts family would like to express their enormous gratitude and love for everyone that has reached out and given their support during this awful time,'' they said. "They ask that everyone respect the family's privacy in order to mourn the loss of their son and daughter, and to process the horror of Sunday's events."

Betts arrived in the downtown Dayton area with his sister and a male friend but then separated from them on the night of the shooting, police said.

He allegedly wore body armor and carried ammunition magazines when he attacked the bar before police who were patrolling the area shot and killed him less than a minute after Betts opened fire.

A woman who dated Betts before breaking up with him in May said on TODAY Tuesday that he had a fascination with mass shootings and struggled with mental illness.

"People go every day being perfectly fine with having a mental illness, me included, and he just got the short end of the stick,'' Adelia Johnson said. "No support system."

The motives behind the shooting have not yet been determined, police said.

"This isn't about race, this isn't about religion, it's none of those things,'' Johnson said. "This is a man who was in pain and didn't get the help that he needed."