Texas shooting triggers memories for Dayton survivors

One month after the Aug. 4 Oregon District mass shooting, some victims say they’re reliving the events of that night daily — feelings made worse by Saturday’s shooting deaths in Texas.

Britaney Jones said it feels like it was just yesterday that she and her boyfriend Brian Pinson were running for their lives in the popular entertainment district.

“I can’t not picture me being shot,” Jones said. “That’s what I picture every time I go to sleep at night, every time I wake up. It’s like it just happened.”

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Gunman Connor Betts opened fire in the Oregon District, killing nine and injuring many others before police shot and killed him.

Jones was shot in the left hand and lost her thumb. She still wears a sling on that arm.

Pinson was shot in the lower back.

Pinson said when events like the Midland and Odessa, Texas, shooting happen and he sees it on television, it brings him back to the night of the shooting in the Oregon District.

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“It brings back memories,” Pinson said. “We’re living it over and over.”

Jones and Pinson said they can’t stand to be in large crowds after what happened.

If they do go out somewhere, they tend to come straight home because that is where they feel the safest.

“Every time I go somewhere, I feel like something is going to happen again. We’re afraid to do things. We’re going to be stuck with this feeling,” Pinson said. “It might be for life. It might be short term, long term. Who knows?”

A month later, Jones hopes Dayton and the country as a whole can “pull together.”

“We just need to come together and be a family,” Jones said. “There we are, Dayton strong.”

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Dayton police and city response

Mayor Nan Whaley said she is proud of the city as she looked back on the way Dayton has handled itself over the past month.

“Dayton takes care of Dayton,” Whaley said. “We’re going to take care of each other.”

She is especially proud of the communication the city and police department had with the public. The city held press conferences every three hours immediately after the shooting, she said.

Whaley said it was also important to her to have a vigil for those who were killed.

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“It’s pretty amazing that we reclaimed that space by 8 p.m. that night,” Whaley said.

Now, Whaley said, she’d like to see “common-sense” gun legislation in the Ohio Legislature and Congress.

“That call to ‘do something,’ we’re going to work to get action on common-sense gun legislation,” Whaley said.

Dayton Police declined to comment on their investigation into the shooting as it is ongoing. Chief Richard Biehl did say that the past few weeks have demonstrated the importance of investing in preventative measures, pointing to several arrests around the country of young men who made threats to carry out shootings.

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FBI Cincinnati Bureau spokesman Todd Lindgren said the FBI is actively investigating the shooting and could not comment further.

Today, the only person charged in relation to the shooting is Ethan Kollie, a Kettering man and friend of the shooter. Kollie is facing federal charges for allegedly lying to buy firearms.

A federal magistrate ordered Kollie be kept in jail without bond.

Investigators have said there is no evidence that Kollie took any part in the shooting, but they said he kept body armor and firearm components for the shooter before the event.

DAYTON SHOOTING: Remembering the victims

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