Report: Dayton Shooter ‘Definitely Leaned to the Left,’ Talked About Shooting up Bars

Dayton shooting (Megan Jelinger / Getty)

The Dayton Daily News reported Monday evening that the gunman who carried out a mass shooting early Sunday morning “definitely leaned to the left” politically and had talked to friends recently about shooting up local bars.

On Sunday evening, Breitbart News reported that Twitter had suspended an account reportedly linked to the shooter. The account had tweeted in support of socialism, in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), against President Donald Trump, and against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

In a new report, the Dayton Daily News confirms that the shooter, who killed nine people and wounded over two dozen, was left-wing — and that he did not support the Second Amendment:

[Former friend Will] El-Fakir, who said he’s personally pro-2nd Amendment, described Betts as “definitely not a right-leaning person. His political views definitely leaned to the left. And believe it or not, he was actually pro-gun control. He was actually anti-2nd Amendment.”

“He never once spit out a conservative opinion on gun control,” El-Fakir said.

Friends also told the newspaper that the shooter had threatened to attack bars:

Friends of the Dayton Oregon District shooter cut ties with him earlier this year because he’d unexpectedly brandish guns and once talked about shooting up Timothy’s, a popular bar among University of Dayton students, a former friend told the Dayton Daily News.

Other people — far from friendly with Connor Betts, the shooter — recalled to the Dayton Daily News how they’d been concerned about him and his bizarre behavior for years, even reporting him to local police.

“There were times when he went to bars and just scoped the place out,” El-Fakir said. “He’d say, ‘If I brought this-or-that through here, it would have done some damage.’”

The shooter’s threats were not taken seriously, according to the article. Breitbart News confirmed Sunday that he bought his guns legally.

Until now, the mainstream media have taken no interest in the Ohio shooter’s views, preferring instead to focus on the white supremacist views of the gunman who attacked a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, the day before, killing 22 and wounding dozens more.

It is still unclear what connection, if any, the Ohio shooter’s left-wing political views had to the shooting, though El-Fakir speculated to the Dayton Daily News that the shooter may have bought body armor because he wanted to show how easy it was for anyone to obtain tactical weapons.

Update: CNN, too, is finally reporting that the Dayton shooter had left-wing views: “A Twitter account that appears to belong to Dayton mass shooter Connor Betts retweeted extreme left-wing and anti-police posts, as well as tweets supporting Antifa, or anti-fascist, protesters.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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