The gunman who murdered nine people including his sister in Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month is being described as a “funny, articulate and intelligent” with a “kind smile.”
Funeral directors at Conner & Koch Life Celebration Home in Bellbrook posted glowing, online obituaries of killer Connor Betts and sister Megan “Baby Chica” Betts, who was gunned down during her brother’s Aug. 4 attack, without mentioning how they died.
“A funny, articulate and intelligent man with striking blue eyes and a kind smile, Connor Stephen Betts, age 24, of Bellbrook, passed away Sunday, August 4th, 2019,” the obit casually stated.
The posting goes on to mention that Betts was a grill cook at Chipotle, an avid reader, enjoyed swimming, was a Boy Scout, was in his high school marching band, played Xbox games and loved watching the Fox animated show “Bob’s Burgers.”
“Connor will be missed immensely by his friends, family, and especially his good dog Teddy,” the obit said.
Brian Koch, the funeral home’s owner said the obituaries were written by the siblings’ family.
“Our policy is we serve grieving families and carry out their wishes,” Koch told NBC News on Wednesday. “Of course we stand with our communities at this time of need.”
Asked if he considered not running Connor Betts’ obit, or if he’s faced any community backlash, Koch repeated: “Our focus is to always serve the grieving and carry out their wishes.”
The sister’s tribute did not mention the gunman at all. In the paragraph mentioning her survivors and those “preceded in death,” her brother’s name was nowhere to be found.
“Megan will be missed immensely by her family, friends, and everyone who loved her,” her obituary read. “The world is a darker place without her.”
Police said Connor Betts had a fascination with mass shootings, but investigators have not been able to immediately identify a possible motive for his attack.
Betts wore a bulletproof vest and used an AR-15-style in the attack, police said.
Megan Betts, her brother and his friend arrived at the downtown area in the same vehicle, but separated later, police have said. She’s believed to have been among the first people shot and killed. The friend was also shot but survived.
Officers, already working in Dayton’s popular downtown entertainment district that night, fatally shot Connor just before he could enter a busy Ned Peppers Bar where dozens more could have been killed.
Earlier in the evening, Connor Betts visited Ned Peppers, where police speculate he was scouting it as a possible target.
The entire massacre, which left dozens more injured, lasted for a mere 32 seconds, according to a timeline disclosed by police on Tuesday.
Minyvonne Burke contributed.