FBI says mental illness, violence fascination were major motivators for Dayton mass shooter

Dayton shooting memorial
Posted at 12:56 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 20:40:17-05

CINCINNATI — Connor Betts, who killed nine and wounded 17 before being shot by Dayton police during a mass shooting in 2019, was motivated by a decade-long struggle with multiple mental health issues, a fascination with mass violence and a convergence of personal factors as several of his motivations behind the attack, the FBI concluded.

Megan Betts, the shooter's sister, was one of the nine people killed.

According to the FBI's final report, which was released on Monday, the agency's Behavioral Analysis Unit concluded Betts' fascination with mass violence (as well as suicidal and violent fantasies), an inability to cope with a convergence of personal factors and "the successive loss of significant stabilizing anchors," were the primary contributors to his decision to commit the mass murder in Dayton.

The report stated bystander fatigue — when peers and friends become used to a person's erratic or otherwise troubling behavior and failure to notice these changes — was a major factor in why Betts was never reported to authorities prior to the shooting.

The investigation concluded Betts was the only shooter and no one else knew of his plans ahead of the shooting. Ethan Kollie, a friend of Betts, had temporarily possessed one of the firearms in the Dayton attack. He was sentenced to 32 months in prison in February 2020 for lying on a federal firearms transaction form about drug use.

"Due to technical challenges accessing lawfully acquired evidence that was encrypted, this investigation has taken significantly longer than expected," FBI Cincinnati Special Agent J. William Rivers said in the release. "However, we are confident that it has uncovered the key facts and that we have done everything in our ability to provide answers to all those impacted by this horrible attack."

The statement said the agency doesn't expect to release any further updates on the case.