A gunman killed nine people and wounded 16 others early Sunday outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, in the second mass shooting in the United States in less than 24 hours.
Authorities identified the gunman as 24-year-old Connor Betts.
“If Dayton police had not gotten to the shooter in under a minute - and figure that 26 injured, 9 dead - hundreds of people in the Oregon District could be dead today,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.
The gunman opened fire around 1:00 am near Ned Peppers Bar in the Oregon District, located in the western section of Dayton.
Eyewitnesses said a large number of police officers responded to the shooting along with emergency services personnel.
“I commend Dayton Police and other first responders for their bravery and quick response to save lives and bring an end to this tragedy,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement.
The governor said he had “been briefed by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol has offered assistance to local law enforcement as they investigate this heinous act.”
Assistant Police Chief Lt. Col. Matt Carper said the gunman was killed by police arriving on the scene.
“This is extremely unusual, obviously, for any community, let alone Dayton,” Carper told the press. “In our Oregon District, this is unheard of.”
Investigators are trying to identify the suspect, who used a rifle to carry out the attack, and determine the motive for the mass shooting, Carper said.
The assistant police chief said the Oregon District was in “a safe part of downtown” and popular with the public because of its bars, restaurants and movie theaters.
The mass shooting in Dayton occurred a few hours after another one in west Texas.
On Saturday, a gunman killed at least 20 people and wounded 26 others at a shopping center in El Paso.
Last weekend, four people were killed in another shooting at a food festival in Gilroy, California. EFE