The FBI will join Dayton police in investigating this past weekend’s mass shooting, with authorities focused on the killer’s “violent ideologies,” officials said Tuesday.
Federal and local authorities have thus far stopped short of calling the murder of nine people, in Dayton’s downtown entertainment district early Sunday morning, a terrorist act by Connor Betts, 24.
Betts was killed by responding police.
“Our investigation with Dayton police is ongoing, we have not made any final investigative conclusions into the motive of the shooter or if he was assisted by any other people in this attack,” Special Agent Todd Wickerham, head of the FBI’s office in Cincinnati, said at a press conference.
“However, we have uncovered evidence throughout the course of our investigation that the shooter was exploring violent ideologies,” Wickerham said.
“Based on this evidence, we’re initiating an FBI investigation, side-by-side with the Dayton police homicide investigation, to make sure we get to the bottom and we explore everything and we try to understand the best we can why this horrific attack happened.”
And Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said his investigators have found that Betts had a “history of obsession” with violence and “had expressed a desire to commit a mass shooting.”
The Dayton announcement comes on the same day the FBI said it will investigate the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival as domestic terrorism, similarly citing the “violent ideologies” of deceased gunman Santino William Legan.