Ohio gunman's family posts obituary for shooter praising him as 'funny' and 'articulate'

Clark Mindock

The family of the man accused of killing nine people during a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, has posted an obituary praising the 24-year-old as “funny” and “articulate”, but without a mention of the victims that included his own sister.

The obituary, which is topped with a smiling photo of the alleged mass murderer, was posted on the website for the Conner & Koch funeral home in Bellbrooke, Ohio.

"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 obituary begins.

Ohio gunman's family posts obituary for shooter praising him as 'funny' and 'articulate'

A separate obituary for his sister, 22-year-old Megan Betts, was also posted on the website, and does not mention the man who allegedly killed her.

“If it’s on our website, it’s real,” Brian Koch, the funeral director, told The Independent when reached by phone.

Connor Betts, 24, has been accused of opening fire just outside of a Dayton bar two weeks ago, killing nine people including his younger sister during a rampage that lasted just under 30 seconds before police killed him.

He was armed with a .223-calibre high-capacity rifle, and 100-round drum magazines. He fired 41 shots during that 30-second timespan, according to police.

Since his death, Betts has been described by officials and people who knew him as a young man who was obsessed with violence and mass shootings, and one who had expressed interest in such an attack before carrying one out himself. His posts online have appeared to support that claim.

He was “very specifically seeking out information that promotes violence,” FBI special agent in charge Todd Wickerman said.

The Betts family has said in statements to the media that they were “shocked and devastated” by what had happened.

The obituary posted online makes no mention of the mass shooting Betts has been accused of, and instead describes him as an avid reader, a lover of music “of all different kinds”, and an individual whose favourite television show was “Bob’s Burgers”.

Both the obituary for the brother and sister say they were “preceded in death by … beloved Nana”.

“Connor will be missed immensely by his friends, family, and especially his good dog Teddy,” the accused shooter’s obituary reads. Megan’s obituary includes a similar line.