While six Dayton police are credited with stopping a shooter in the Oregon District before he could kill more people, others also put aside their own safety to try to save lives before more officers and EMTs arrived at the scene.
Critical care nurse Kayla Miller was fleeing Ned Peppers Bar when she stopped in her tracks.
“I look down the sidewalk and see just a row of bodies. People shot — some alive, some not,” Miller told the Today show.
Her instincts kicked in and she started performing CPR on the wounded.
“I’m grateful to be able to be alive and talk to my family and friends and tell them I’m OK, but my heart breaks for these families,” Miller said. “It’s just not fair.”
Sarah Reeves and her fiancé Benjamin Fox were the first to reach a wounded Megan Betts, the shooter’s sister.
“She was still hanging on,” Reeves said.
Reeves, of Huber Heights, began chest compressions, having learned CPR as part of her job at the YMCA there.
“I prayed while I was doing it,” Reeves said. “I prayed out loud so she could hear me.”
Others arrived to help in what Reeves called an “eerie” and “chaotic” scene.
Calls went out for tourniquets, and people offered up their belts while others held flashlights for those giving first aid, she said. Some just held and comforted victims.
Holley Redman and her friend James Williams were at nearby Newcom’s Tavern when they heard the gunfire and rushed to the wounded and dying.
Redman began breathing for a man bleeding from a gunshot as another person pumped furiously on his chest. A woman tried to stop the bleeding with her hands.
They couldn’t save 30-year-old Logan Turner, Redman, told WCPO in Cincinnati, this organization’s news partner.
“I just want his parents to know that we did everything possible to save him … like everything,” Redman said. “Three people were on him, and I was there when he took his last breaths. It’s so hard … I’m sorry.”
Turner, a Springboro native, was one of the nine people the suspect, Connor Betts, killed before police shot him to death within about 30 seconds.
A Dayton police officer took over giving chest compressions to Megan Betts, and Reeves walked back to the diner where her harrowing experience began.
“My mom was just standing there. She was crying so hard because my hands and forearms were just covered in blood,” Reeves said.
Reeves said she’s experiencing emotions not before felt, including increased anxiety and an uncomfortableness with loud noises and crowds.
“I will never be the same,” she said. “I can’t explain it. I just feel different.”
It took a massive response from first responders with local police and fire departments to help.
On a daily basis, Dayton Fire has seven medic units, but for this response there were 21 medic units, with Dayton fire relying heavily on local fire departments helping out.
“To get 21 medic units on scene required huge assistance from those outside departments,” Dayton Fire West District Chief Adam Landis said.
Landis said the department has always trained for mass casualty events and active shooter situations, including trainings earlier this year.
“And because of that, it was fresh in their mind. Everybody knew what role they were to play,” Landis said.
“We see these guys operate in emergencies every day. That’s the type of service they provide. That’s the level of commitment that they have,” Landis said.
East District Fire Chief Matt McClain took charge directing crews, who were quickly on scene and started to triage, provided treatment right on site and rushed victims to hospital emergency rooms.
Landis said he wasn’t going to get into specific firefighters responses but said everyone there did an outstanding job, as did neighboring fire departments who came to help as well as the police.
“The timelines and the videos are out there show what the cops did. I mean, I can’t say enough about what a good job those guys have done,” Landis said.
And Landis said that not only did they have to manage a large response in the Oregon District, but they also had to help with other calls around the city.
“In the middle of this, we also ended up having a significant structure fire on the east side of the city,” Landis said.
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