Dayton officers did more than stop the attack, chief says

Police are being credited with saving the lives of people in more than one way during Sunday’s chaotic shooting in the Oregon District.

Officers quickly killed the shooter before he could kill others and immediately treated the wounded and helped those injured to the hospital before medics arrived, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said Tuesday.

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“There were a number of officers who rendered first aid until fire personnel could safely enter the scene,” Biehl said “We’re trying to collect that information. How many officers either provided CPR and/or did transports. We don’t have that data available but we know we played a significant role in that regard also.”

The early morning incident claimed the lives of 10 people, including the shooter, 24-year-old Connor Betts, and left 27 people injured.

>> VIDEO: 6 Dayton officers confront, kill mass shooter in 30 seconds

Dr. Peter Ekeh, medical director of Trauma at Miami Valley Hospital, confirmed that many of the 14 patients who were initially taken to MVH’s Level 1 trauma center in downtown Dayton arrived in police vehicles.

Ekeh said at least two of the victims who were brought in suffered life-threatening injuries, and one required emergency surgery. Ekeh said the hospital activated its mass casualty disaster response plan and accepted patients for an estimated two hours after the shooting occurred.

“In a typical situation, when you’re expecting patients, you get notifications from the field … you have some idea of what their injuries might be,” Ekeh said. “In a mass casualty situation, you don’t have the luxury of a lot of that information because you are inundated with so many patients at a time.”

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Three additional people were treated at MVH’s emergency room, for a total of 17 at the main branch; six people were treated at MVH’s satellite hospitals and care centers in Centerville, Englewood and Miamisburg, according to Ben Sutherly, communications director at Premier Health.

Ekeh said the vast majority of those injured and taken to MVH had suffered gunshot wounds, mostly to the extremities.

“With the kind of weapon that was used, a lot of the injuries are fatal when they make immediate impact,” Ekeh said. “We did not have anyone come in and die at this facility, but of course we were aware of that occurring … People were working hard. Quite exhaustive. The entire situation can be quite traumatic for healthcare providers.”

On Monday, one patient remained in serious condition, one was in stable condition and one other was in fair condition, Sutherly said. All others had been treated and released by Monday afternoon.

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Kettering Health Network is continuing to treat three of the 14 patients brought to its facilities. Two people are in good condition at Grandview Medical Center. One person is in fair condition at Kettering Medical Center.

Seven patients at Grandview and two patients at Soin Medical Center have been treated and released. Two people came into Kettering Medical Center Sunday afternoon and were treated and released.

The six officers who were working as part of a squad that night in the Oregon District, despite being relatively newer to the Dayton police force, “did a fantastic job,” said Dayton officer Rick Oakley, Dayton FOP Lodge 44 president.

“To stop (the attack) in that time frame is truly amazing,” Oakley said. “They were right there what looked to be the end target for the suspect, heading straight for that bar and they addressed him right at the door. Thank God they were able to do that.”

>> PHOTOS: What Oregon District looks like the day after mass shooting

DPD sometimes must rely on a “draft” to determine who will work the weekend shift downtown, and those officers are typically lower in seniority, Oakley said. The downtown crew goes where the crowds are and they usually police the Oregon District late at night because “that’s where the bigger crowds will be.”

The six officers who were involved in the shooting incident are on paid administrative leave, typically a four-day span, and they immediately were connected with Dr. Kathy Platoni, psychologist and retired Army colonel, Oakley said.

“Our top priority is to try to make sure (the officers) are OK, not just the physical but the mental as well,” he said.


The six Dayton officers who are credited with stopping the Aug. 4 mass shooting in the Oregon District are all on paid administrative leave.

  • Sgt. William C. Knight, sworn in Feb. 14, 1997
  • Officer Brian Rolfes, sworn in April 8, 2016
  • Officer Jeremy Campbell, sworn in Aug. 5, 2016
  • Officer Vincent Carter, sworn in April 8, 2016
  • Officer Ryan Nabel, sworn in April 8, 2016
  • Officer David Denlinger, sworn in April 8, 2016

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