At least nine people were killed and 26 injured in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday morning, officials said.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said at a press conference that a person, wielding a large gun with high-capacity magazines and wearing body armor, opened fire in the city’s Oregon District at around 1 a.m.
The assailant was killed at the scene by multiple officers in “less than a minute,” Whaley said, adding that the motive of the suspect was not known at this time.
The gender and identity of the shooter were not released. Additional information about the victims was also not immediately available.
Dayton Police Lt. Col. Matt Carper said the shooter was believed to have acted alone. He said, however, that police ― with the help of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation ― were also probing the possibility that other individuals were involved.
Police have asked anyone with information about the attack to come forward:
The Oregon District is a historic area in Dayton with a vibrant bar and restaurant scene. Eyewitness videos appeared to show people running through the neighborhood’s streets early on Sunday as a rapid popping noise ― apparently gunfire ― disturbed the air.
Deb Decker, the public information officer for Montgomery County Emergency Services, told CNN that the shooting occurred as the assailant was heading toward a bar in the Oregon District called Ned Peppers.
The bar, as well as a neighboring establishment called Hole In The Wall, penned matching notes on Facebook on Sunday: “All of our staff is safe and our hearts go out to everyone involved as we gather information,” the notes read.
Journalist Derek Myers, who was at the scene, said there were 10 bodies ― including that of the shooter’s ― lying on the sidewalk outside Ned Peppers. The county coroner arrived at around 5:15 a.m., he noted:
The Dayton Convention Center, located a short walk from Ned Peppers, was opened for family members and friends of anyone injured or killed in the shooting, according to Dayton 24/7 Now.
Anthony Good, general manager of the Dublin Pub, also located nearby, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he’d kept his establishment open after the attack so police would have a safe place to interview witnesses and first responders could obtain free fresh coffee and snacks.
The attack in Dayton came hours after at least 20 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and less than a week after a gunman opened fire at a garlic festival in California, killing three people including two children.
According to USA Today, the El Paso massacre marked the 250th mass shooting in the United States in 2019. The Dayton attack was the 251st.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said in a statement that he was “absolutely heartbroken over the horrible attack.” DeWine ordered flags in the state to be lowered “in honor and memory of the victims who lost their lives this morning,” CNN reported.
Reacting to news of a second mass shooting on U.S. soil in under 24 hours, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) expressed horror and heartbreak:
Jon Husted, Ohio’s lieutenant governor, described the shooting as “shocking and dreadful.
On Saturday evening, just hours before the Dayton attack occurred, WDTN, the NBC affiliate in Dayton, posted an article online about local law enforcement offering a class on “lifesaving techniques for mass shootings.”
″[You should] at least prepare yourself because if you’ve never thought about [a shooting] before it happens, once it happens it’s too late. You’re going to panic. You’re going to lose the precious seconds of timing that you need to escape,” John Davis, Centerville police’s community relations officer, told the station.