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Hundreds attend vigil to honour victims; MOURNING.

Hundreds of people gathered to honour the nine victims killed and 27 injured after a masked gunman opened fire on revellers enjoying the summer nightlife in Dayton, Ohio.

The crowds released doves, repeated the names of the dead and sang Amazing Grace, but directed an angrier chorus at Republican governor Mike DeWine, interrupting his speech at the vigil with chants of "make a change" and "do something!".

Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat, said there would be time later for dealing with the policy issues.

Connor Betts, 24, was armed with a .223-calibre rifle with magazines capable of holding at least 100 rounds of ammunition when he fired off dozens of shots in an entertainment district, Police Chief Richard Biehl said.

Betts was gunned down within 30 seconds of the start of his rampage, police said.

Betts' 22-year-old sister Megan was the youngest of the victims.

High school classmates of Betts say he was suspended years ago for compiling a "hit list" and a "rape list".

The accounts emerged after police said there was nothing in his background that would have prevented him from buying an AR 15-style rifle.

Ex-classmates said that Betts was suspended during their junior year at Bellbrook High School after a hit list was found scrawled in a school toilet.

That followed an earlier suspension after Betts came to school with a list of female students he wanted to sexually assault, according to two of the classmates, a man and a woman who are now 24 and spoke on condition of anonymity.

"There was a kill list and a rape list, and my name was on the rape list," said the female classmate.

The former cheerleader said she was surprised when a police officer called her during her first year to tell her that her name was on a list of potential targets.

"The officer said he wouldn't be at school for a while," she said. "But after some time he was back. They didn't give us any warning that he was returning to school."

The male classmate said Betts routinely threatened violence to other students.

"Most people avoided him," the man said. "He enjoyed making people feel scared."

Hannah Shows was another former Bellbrook student who took to social media.

"Connor seriously threatened to hurt women who rejected him, myself included," she wrote on Facebook. "Connor Betts has been openly talking about doing this for a decade and no one could do anything about it."

Former Bellbrook principal Chris Baker said he "would not dispute that information" when the Daily News asked him about the hit list suspension.

Meanwhile, the shooting that killed 22 people at a crowded El Paso department store will be handled as a domestic terrorism case, authorities have said.

A local prosecutor announced that he would file capital murder charges against 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, declaring that the alleged assailant had "lost the right to be among us".

CAPTION(S):

Some of those at the vigil in El Paso

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Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Date:Aug 6, 2019
Words:496
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