LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
And this morning, we continue to follow the aftermath of two mass shootings. In El Paso, Texas, yesterday, 20 people were killed by a gunman who opened fire at a Walmart, and overnight in Dayton, Ohio, at least nine people were killed and more than a dozen injured. Assistant Police Chief Matt Carper said this during an early morning conference.
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MATT CARPER: We're very fortunate that the officers were in close proximity and that they reacted the way that they did. And as bad as this is, it could have been much, much worse.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: April Laissle is a reporter from member station WYSO, and she joins us from Dayton. Good morning.
APRIL LAISSLE, BYLINE: Good morning.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: What's the latest about this shooting? What do we know?
LAISSLE: We know that just after 1 a.m., the suspect, who was wearing body armor and a mask covering his face, approached a bar called Ned Peppers in the heart of Dayton's downtown area and began shooting. Police say he used a .223 high-caliber magazine rifle. Now, police usually patrol this area and were able to shoot and kill the gunman, they say, in less than a minute. But in that short time, at least nine people were killed and 26 others were injured.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How has the community been reacting?
LAISSLE: Well, the community is in shock. We're still reeling from a series of tornadoes that touched down on a Memorial Day and really devastated the community. A lot of people are without homes and displaced. So this is just a gut punch, really. At a press conference this morning, the mayor said she was heartbroken but amazed by the grit and resiliency of the Dayton community.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And what else did the mayor have to say?
LAISSLE: She has been praising the police officers and the first responders, which she said, you know, likely saved hundreds of lives. She also said the city is working to ensure that support will be available to victims and their families.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: What do we know, if anything right now, about the victims?
LAISSLE: You know, we don't know much about the victims at this point. What we know so far is, you know, what the area usually is like and who comes there. The Oregon District is really the heart of Dayton's nightlife. It's a historic district. And it has both a residential neighborhood and a business district. All of those businesses are locally owned. And on Saturday nights, it is very crowded. People hang out outside the bars well into the night, and Ned Peppers specifically is very popular among a crowd of all ages. And a lot of people wait in line for a long time just to get into that bar, so we know, you know, a lot of people are there.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Do we know anything about the motivation behind the shooting or about the shooter him or herself?
LAISSLE: Police haven't released any details about the shooter at this point or any details into a possible motive. Those are kind of ongoing. The investigation is active. And police say they are taking it very seriously.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's April Laissle, a local reporter from member station WYSO, and she's joining us from Dayton. Thank you very much.
LAISSLE: Thank you.