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Dayton Gunman's Parents: We're Sorry for Obituary

Death notice describing shooter as 'funny' and 'articulate' has been taken down
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2019 7:52 AM CDT
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Stock photo.   (Getty Images/filipfoto)

(Newser) – It's natural to want to say flattering things about loved ones in their death notices. But the family of Connor Betts, the gunman who killed nine in Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month, is now apologizing for what they say was an "insensitive" obituary for him. The BBC reports the obit first popped up online Tuesday on the website of the Conner & Koch funeral home, and it offered a flattering portrayal of the 24-year-old, describing him as a "funny, articulate, and intelligent man with striking blue eyes and a kind smile." The notice went on to say Betts had been a Boy Scout and member of his high school marching band, liked reading and playing on his Xbox, and enjoyed the Fox animated series Bob's Burgers. CNN notes the page dedicated to Betts also included nearly two dozen recent and older photos, including ones showing him drinking beer and hanging out with family.

What the obit didn't mention: the shooting, or the fact that Betts' sister Megan was also killed in the massacre. Her death notice, also penned by the family and posted on the site, similarly didn't mention the shooting. NBC News notes the tribute to Connor Betts was offline by Wednesday afternoon, replaced by an apology. "Stephen and Moira Betts apologize that the wording of the obituary for their son Connor was insensitive in not acknowledging the terrible tragedy that he created," the new posting reads. "In their grief, they presented the son that they knew, which in no way reduces the horror of his last act. We are deeply sorry." Megan Betts' obituary remains on the site, with no mention of her brother. "Our policy is we serve grieving families and carry out their wishes," the owner of the funeral home says. "Of course, we stand with our communities at this time of need." (Read more Dayton shooting stories.)

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