The Latest: Apparent Twitter feed shows shooter was leftist

Posted at 8:08 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 21:08:12-04

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the aftermath of the Ohio shooting (all times local):

8:35 p.m.

A Twitter account appearing to be from the gunman who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, showed tweets labeling himself a "leftist," bemoaning the election of President Donald Trump, supporting Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and encouraging people to cut fences of immigrant detention centers.

While investigators try to determine a motive for Sunday's attack by 24-year-old Connor Betts, his apparent account offers a window into his politics. It stands in contrast to the social media of El Paso shooting suspect Patrick Crusius, which appeared to support Trump.

Though the Twitter account @iamthespookster does not bear Betts' name, it does include selfies that resemble known photos of him.

The Associated Press archived some of the feed but it was taken down by Twitter late Sunday amid speculation it belonged to Betts.

Dayton police didn't immediately respond to comment requests about whether the account was authentic. Police in Betts' suburban hometown of Bellbrook said they hadn't been aware of his tweets before or after the shooting.


4 p.m.

A community association official has confirmed Saeed Saleh was among the nine killed during the weekend shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

Yahya Khamis, president of the Sudanese Community of Dayton, said Monday that he was speaking on behalf of Saleh's family and was working on coordinating funeral plans for the 38-year-old man. Khamis said he didn't know Saleh well, but that he was a "humble and quiet person" who also was kindhearted.

Saleh had three children, but Khamis said he could not share any other information on Saleh's family.

Khamis said Saleh was originally from Eritrea in East Africa and had later lived in Sudan in Africa before immigrating to the United States a few years ago.

Police say 24-year-old Connor Betts was killed within 30 seconds from when he opened fire Sunday in Dayton's historic Oregon District.


1:25 p.m.

Top Democrats in the Republican-led Ohio Legislature are urging colleagues to pass gun-safety proposals that were given little consideration this session before a gunman killed nine people and injured more in Dayton over the weekend.

State Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko and House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes are particularly advocating for universal background checks on gun purchases and a "red flag law" to restrict firearms access for people perceived as threats.

Police say there was nothing in the Dayton shooter's background to prevent him from buying the firearm used.

President Donald Trump said Monday he wants federal legislation providing "strong background checks" for gun users, though he has reneged on previous promises after mass attacks. He offered few details. Trump won swing-state Ohio in 2016.


11:40 a.m.

Police Chief Richard Biehl says it's hard to believe that the gunman in the Dayton attack didn't recognize his sister when he opened fired and killed her and eight other people.

Police say 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire around 1 a.m. Sunday in a popular entertainment district. Police say he was fatally shot by officers within 30 seconds.

Biehl told reporters Monday that it is hard to believe Betts would have targeted his own sister but also difficult to imagine he wouldn't have recognized her.

Betts was white and six of the nine killed were black, but police have said the quickness of the rampage made any discrimination seem unlikely. Biehl reiterated Monday that there is no indication that race was a motive in the attack, but the investigation is continuing.


11:15 a.m.

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl says if all of the magazines a gunman who attacked a nightclub district had on him were full, he would have had a maximum of 250 rounds.

But Biehl said it not clear if all were full.

He told reporters Monday that at least 41 spent shell casings were from the gunman.

Police say 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire in the area around 1 a.m. Sunday in a popular entertainment district, killing his sister and eight others. Police say he was fatally shot by officers within 30 seconds.


10:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is calling the recent mass shootings "evil attacks" that are crimes "against all humanity" and says unity must replace hatred in society.

Trump gave a speech Monday from the White House following weekend shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left 29 people dead and dozens wounded. He called the shootings "barbaric slaughters."

Trump says "in one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy."

He urges Democrats and Republicans to set aside partisanship and find solutions to violence.


1:45 a.m.

The gunman who attacked the nightclub district in Dayton, Ohio, this weekend mowed down so many people so quickly that authorities say he probably wasn't targeting anyone.

Beyond that, investigators deemed it too soon to say what touched off Connor Betts' 30-second rampage that left nine people dead early Sunday.

Among the questions: Why would the 24-year-old have shot his 22-year-old sister Megan, the youngest victim? And what could authorities have done to prevent the attack that ended when officers gunned him down?

Some students who went to high school with Betts in a Dayton suburb note that he got suspended for making threats. School officials haven't discussed those details.

Others considered Betts a nice guy. One friend even described him as "the kind of kid you'd want as a son."


Associated Press writers Julie Carr Smyth in Dayton, Michael Balsamo in Orlando, Florida, and Kantele Franko in Columbus contributed to this report.