(DAYTON, Ohio) — A survivor of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, said he didn’t think about his own life or safety over the weekend when he ushered crowds of people into a local establishment to shield them from gunfire outside.
Jeremy Ganger, a bouncer at Ned Peppers, said he grabbed as many people as he could and guarded the bar’s entrance to keep the alleged gunman from coming inside.
He said he came face-to-face with the gunman, later identified by police as 24-year-old Connor Betts, just seconds before a police officer fatally shot him, ending a bloody rampage that killed nine, including the alleged gunman’s own sister, and injured more than two dozen others.
“I looked at him right in the face. He had a dead stare,” Ganger said. “When he got to the door, I saw an officer over to the side of the street and I looked up, I looked at the guy and I said ‘I hope the cop gets him before he gets me,’ because he wasn’t coming in our club.”
“Our patrons are more important than one active shooter, so I was going to try to stand my ground the best I could,” he added.
There were at least 200 people inside the bar by the time the shooting was over. Ganger said his instincts took over and he didn’t think twice when he decided to pull people inside to shield them.
“I could see him coming our way and I started getting people as fast as I could,” Ganger said, noting that he had to physically throw some people inside to keep them out of harms way. “[I was] grabbing people, telling them to get in, get down, stay safe. Telling them to get all the way in as far as they could. Don’t watch the door, don’t watch what’s coming.”
“I was grabbing them as fast as I could. Best I could. And then watched a few people get hit,” he added.
Nearby patrol officers took the suspect down within 30 seconds after his first shot early Sunday morning, according to the Dayton Police Department. Police have yet to reveal a motive in the shooting, or explain why the alleged gunman may have targeted his sister, but they said his family is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
“The Betts family is shocked and devastated by the events of Sunday morning in the Oregon district. They offer their most heart-felt prayers and condolences to all the victims, their families and friends,” the department said in a statement on behalf of the family. “They respect the investigative process being conducted by the Dayton Police Department and the FBI, and will not comment further on this investigation.”
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