Dayton gunman Connor Betts squeezed off at least 41 rounds in his 30-second rampage — but may have brought as many as 250 rounds to the bloodbath, cops said Monday.
“If all the magazines that we recovered from the suspect were completely full … including the loose rounds found on the ground near him, as well as in a backpack that he carried, he would’ve had a maximum of 250 rounds in his possession at the time,” said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl.
Masked and clad in body armor, Betts, 24, opened fire with his AR-15-style rifle outside a hopping stretch of bars in the Ohio city around 1:05 a.m. Sunday, cops have said.
He killed nine people — including his own sister — before he was fatally shot by police.
But the volume of his rifle and the double-drum magazine with which it was equipped — both legally purchased — underscores how much worse the slaughter could have been.
“It is fundamentally problematic to have that level of weaponry in a civilian environment, unregulated,” said Biehl.
Officials also clarified the attack’s injury total on Monday: Of the at least 27 survivors treated in the aftermath, 14 of them had been shot.
The rest were either trampled in the frantic flight from the barrage or suffered lacerations, including from broken glass.
What remains murky Monday was what motivated the sick attack.
“Not close enough at all,” said Biehl, when asked how close investigators were to establishing a motive. “We have a lot of evidence still to go through.”
Among the possibilities that investigators are considering is whether Betts had a beef with a bar on the strip after being turned way earlier in the evening, said Biehl, though stressing that he couldn’t confirm “with certainty” that that interaction took place.
At first glance, there was no indication that race was a motivating factor, said Biehl. Most of the deceased victims were black.
Also unclear was whether Betts — who drove to the area a short time before the attack with his 22-year-old sister, Megan, and a mutual acquaintance — sought out his sibling and the friend.
“That’s a question I’ve asked more than once, and I don’t think we can know that for certain,” said Biehl, noting that the friend, who survived a gunshot wound to the lower torso, has spoken with cops.
“It seems to defy believability he would shoot his own sister,” said Biehl. “But it’s also hard to believe that he didn’t recognize that was his sister.”
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