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Dayton Killer Had Cocaine, Alcohol in His System: Coroner

Police bullets hit two of the victims
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2019 7:00 PM CDT
A pedestrian passes a makeshift memorial for the shooting victims in Dayton with the message "America Deserves Better."   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Newser) – The gunman who killed nine people in Dayton had cocaine, alcohol and an anti-anxiety drug in his system when he shot more than 30 people in the city's Oregon district, a coroner said Thursday. Connor Betts was shot by police at least 24 times on Aug. 4, an autopsy found, per CNN. Police bullets also hit two victims. Kent Harshbarger said it appears that one of those wounds was superficial and that the other victim had already received a fatal shot from Betts. Still, it "weighs heavily on us that some of our rounds caused additional wounding," a deputy police chief said.

In discussing the police bullets that hit victims, Dayton's police chief said, "Depending on the position of the police officers, the moving assailant, fleeing victims and the dynamics of the physical environment itself—all over a very short period of time—there is a danger in shooting, and there is a danger in not shooting." Most of the bullets that hit Betts struck around his bulletproof vest, per the Wall Street Journal. Officials said he also had a plastic bag with cocaine in it on him. Police said the killer tried to get up twice after being shot, but that lethal force was necessary because he was still armed. (Read more Dayton shooting stories.)

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