‘I could have been dead. It could have been me’

Oregon District shooting survivor recounts officers taking down gunman

The same scene keeps replaying in Dutch Woods II’s mind.

He’s ducking behind a car parked on Fifth Street in the Oregon District as bullets zoom past him.

He sees "Teejay" — Thomas McNichols — get fatally shot. He himself is hit by gunfire, though he doesn't know it right away.

He goes over these moments, again and again.

>> COMPLETE COVERAGE: Latest updates from Oregon District shooting

Woods said he’s able to function, but his thoughts are on a constant, repeating cycle. He said he keeps thinking, “I could have been dead. It could have been me.”

Early Sunday morning, Woods was in line to get into Ned Peppers.

The line was pretty long and he was standing with McNichols, whom he met that night. They tried to get into another bar nearby but were denied entry because of their attire, Woods said.

Suddenly, gunfire rang out nearby.

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Woods said he could hear the shots get louder and closer. He jumped behind a car and got close to the ground.

“I ducked — got real low — because in my mind, the first thing you think of was running, but when you don’t know where the shots are coming from, you can’t run,” he said. “You just got to take cover.”

Woods said a feeling of panic surged when the shooting started, because he didn’t know what to do and didn’t have an obvious way to get to safety.

“Something told me to just stay calm, duck behind that car and don’t move,” he said.

Woods said McNichols of Dayton was behind him, but they split up. McNichols was struck by gunfire and was one of the nine people who were killed during the shooting spree.

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Woods said he could hear the shooter get to the sidewalk, and that’s when he started firing at the crowd that was trying to get into Ned Pepper’s.

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Woods said while he was on the ground, a bullet ricocheted, grazed his leg and lodged in his elbow. He didn’t realize he was shot until later on.


Woods said he was saved by a Dayton police officer, who was right above him when he looked up, firing on the gunman.

The police officer instructed Woods to stay down, but once police responded, Woods said he got up and ran for it.

He believed it wasn’t safe to stay in one spot.

Woods said he ran into an alley near Newcom’s and stayed there several minutes. He said he then returned to his car and drove himself to Miami Valley Hospital.

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The bullet fragment nearly hit the bone. He was treated and released. But he required surgery on Monday at a different hospital.

“At the time, I didn’t even know I was shot,” he said. “I thought I just had a little scratch, because I didn’t feel my arm bleeding.”

“That’s how much adrenaline that was in me — I was just trying to get away,” he said.

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Wood's cousin, Lois Oglesby, also was killed in the shooting.

Woods is off of work. He was told if he lifts anything over 20 pounds, the wound could tear. He is a corrections officer. He expects to be off work for several weeks.

He said it’s heartbreaking and depressing to see something like this happen. He said he feels awful for the people who lost loved ones.

Woods said he can’t stop thinking about that fateful night. He said he’s been talking to God a lot.

“The only thing that was separating me from him was that car,” he said. “So someone was watching over me. I feel blessed.”

He said he views the Oregon District as his “safe zone.” He’s staying with his mom while he recovers in West Dayton. Ned Peppers and Newcom’s were his favorite bars, and he was a regular, he said.

But Woods said his days of going out are over.

“I’m done,” he said.

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