Friend of Dayton, Ohio Mass Shooter Facing Federal Gun Charges

A man visits the memorial for those killed in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, U.S. August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

A friend of the Ohio man who killed nine people, including his own sister, in Dayton this month was charged on Monday with lying about his illegal drug use on a form when he bought a gun, federal prosecutors said.

The Aug. 4 attack, which ended when police shot and killed 24-year-old Connor Betts, was one of three-high profile mass shootings over three weeks that stunned the United States and stoked its long-running debate on gun rights.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman charged Betts’ friend Ethan Kollie with making a false statement regarding firearms. He was also charged with possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, according to court documents.

Glassman said that authorities, in the course of investigating the shooting, learned that Kollie used illegal drugs and lied about his drug use on a form when he bought a firearm.

Kollie also purchased the body armor, the upper receiver for an AR-15 and the 100-round double drum magazine that Betts used during the shooting, Glassman said.

“There is no evidence and no allegation … that Kollie intentionally participated in the planning” of the Aug. 4 shooting, he said.

Kollie faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

The FBI said last week that Betts, had a history of violent obsessions and had mused about committing mass murder before his rampage in Dayton’s historic downtown.

Betts, who is from the nearby suburb of Bellbrook, Ohio, was wearing body armor and a mask during the attack, opening fire with an assault-style rifle fitted with a high-capacity ammunition drum that could hold 100 rounds, police said.

His sister, Megan Betts, 22, was one of the first victims to be killed.

Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York and Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman

Source: Reuters