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Piqua Marine who saved woman’s life in Vegas shooting says he’s no hero

Published: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 10:16 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 4:15 PM

Piqua Marine credited with saving life of woman in Vegas mass shooting

A Piqua native who is a Marine is being credited for saving the life of a California woman he didn’t even know after she was shot during the mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night. 

RELATED: Germantown couple on same floor as Las Vegas gunman

United States Marine Corp Cpl. Austin Cox, a 2011 Piqua High School graduate stationed at Camp Pendleton in California, was in attendance at the Route 91 Harvest music festival with a fellow Marine when the shooting occurred. 

RELATED: Springfield native hit by shrapnel during Las Vegas shooting

During the shooting Cox was helping people to safety amid the chaos when found a woman, identified as Katrina Hannah, from La Verne, Calif., suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and badly bleeding, 

RELATED: 5 Eaton women witness moments after Las Vegas mass shooting

“[I] put some pressure on the wound on her neck, and then I saw more blood coming,” Cox told this news organization.

Cox knew how to respond to the situation because of his military training, he said. 

“They really do teach you how to react in those situations, so that obviously helped out a lot and it kept my cool and kept me focus,” Cox said.

Cox said he scooped Hannah up off the ground and ran for cover during a pause in the gunfire and brought her to a random car.

“The people obviously were willing to help, that's what they were there for, they pulled their car up,” Cox said.

Tom Westfall, the choir director at Piqua High School, said he’s known Cox since he was in elementary school and wasn’t surprised at Cox’s willingness to help.

“It doesn't surprise me. He's an upstanding guy, I can see him just stepping to the plate and doing whatever needed to be done,” Westfall said.

Piqua Head Football Coach Bill Nees, who has known Cox for about seven years, echoed Westfall’s sentiments.

“He was an undersized safety with an oversized heart,” Nees said.  “I think he had that mindset before he was a Marine, I think he came in with that, and that he was that kind of guy that would just be willing to help people out any chance he could.”

Just two weeks ago, Cox was the best man in his friend Kindric Link’s wedding. When Link learned about the shooting and wondered for an hour if his friend was OK.

Link said Cox’s story was traumatizing, but he knows Cox is a loyal person, even to complete strangers.

“Everyone was coming toward him trying to save their own lives, and he and his buddy, who is a Marine, ran towards the bullets,” Link said, adding that Cox stayed with Hannah the entire night at the hospital while she received treatment.

Hannah was in Las Vegas for her best friend’s bachelorette party, according to Cox’s aunt.

Regardless of what others say of his actions, Cox insists on not being called a hero.

“I'm not keen to just call myself a hero or nothing, but I think I would do it any other day, and people know that and they know the type of person I am,” Cox said. “That's what being a Marine's all about.  I joined to defend America, and whether that's foreign or domestic, I'm going to help out as much as I can.”

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UD President: ‘Students ... put themselves and their friends in danger’

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 3:39 PM

Lowes Street in Dayton, St. Patrick's Day 2018
Steve Maguire
Lowes Street in Dayton, St. Patrick's Day 2018(Steve Maguire)

University of Dayton students who ignored orders and acted out against police during St. Patrick’s Day activities Saturday were called out in a letter sent this morning from UD President Eric F. Spina to the student body.

“Today I am deeply disappointed in the behavior of many of you. I witnessed groups of students assault police officers, shoot fireworks into crowds, and put themselves and their friends in danger,” Spina wrote.   

PHOTOS: UD students gather on St. Patrick’s Day

Police responded to the report of a large crowd that had gathered on Lowes Street. Bottles, rocks and firecrackers were reportedly thrown at officers, which forced them to retreat. Additional officers from UD and Dayton police departments were called. By 6:30 p.m., police dressed in riot gear cleared the streets and ordered students to go inside their homes.

“The large gatherings that block streets, the disregard for the safety of others, and the disrespect for the police who were there to keep people safe in no way constitutes community,” Spina’s letter reads. “This police response was appropriate and necessary because this behavior presented significant danger to the safety of students and police.


Dayton police reports from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

UD’s St. Patrick’s Day revelry moves indoors after officers in riot gear push back crowds

One person was hurt by a thrown object during the police action on Saturday, according to the university.

Dayton officers dressed in riot gear and holding shields were also struck by thrown objects, but no injuries were reported, according to UD spokeswoman Cilla Shindell.

Shindell said there were a few other minor injuries, “a few misdemeanor arrests and student disciplinary referrals” reported during the day, but full reports were not immediately available.

Some minor damage to university property — lawns and landscaping — was reported and a few private vehicles were reportedly damaged during the day, Shindell said.

“No one has been arrested as yet for activities related to dispersing the crowd,” she said.

Shindell said in terms of how police respond to large disturbances such as what happened on Lowes Street, each situation is assessed for the best response.

“In general, it is good practice to get everyone off the street as peacefully as possible and keep them out of harm’s way until the street is cleared,” Shindell said. “This helps police identify those who are involved in disorderly behavior and those who are not. After the street was clear, police went to each of the houses to let them encourage those who were not residents to leave the property and let residents know they were free to leave their houses.”

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Chance for rain, snow returns this week

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 5:00 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 4:45 PM

Sunny skies are expected today in the Dayton area, with the chance for rain and snow returning later this week.

A quiet night is expected with temperatures overnight dropping into the lower 30s, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar  said.


  • Rain returns Monday evening
  • Snow possible Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Lower temperatures this week

>>Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


Monday: Clouds will increase through the day with highs in the lower to middle 50s. The chance for rain returns in the evening, and with temperatures falling past sunset, a few wet flakes may mix in as well.

>>County-by-County Forecast 

Tuesday: A few lingering snow showers or a wintry mix will be possible early, then more snow is possible later in the day. Mostly cloudy skies are expected with highs in the lower to middle 40s.

>>WHIO Weather App

Wednesday: It’ll be a cold day with highs in the upper 30s. The chance for snow continues, but some weather models keep the snow to the south. We will keep a close eye on the track of this system. 

>>Severe Weather Guide

Thursday: Partly sunny skies are expected with highs in the lower 40s.

Friday: A dry start is expected, but the chance for rain returns at night. Highs will be in the middle 40s.

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Brush fire spreads to 5 acres, is put out quickly

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 3:54 PM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 4:25 PM

UPDATE @ 4:25 p.m.

Crews left the scene of a brush fire that spread to 5 acres in an area off the 5000 block of Medlar Road.

The fire, reported around 3:20 p.m., was extinguished quickly by responding crews.


Crews are on scene of brush fire this afternoon involving a reported 5 acres.

The fire was reported around 3:20 p.m. in the 5000 block of Medlar Road, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

We have a crew on the way and will update this report.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

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Police make arrests, reports from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 12:43 PM

Police issued a Public Safety order for people to disperse from the neighborhood on St. Patrick's Day.

This year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration landed on a Saturday, but for many the revelry, and police incident reports, started on Friday.

The most significant incident reported from Saturday started around 4 p.m. on Lowes Street.

Police responded to the report of a large crowd that had gathered in the street in the University of Dayton student neighborhood. Bottles, rocks and firecrackers were reportedly thrown at officers, which forced them to retreat.
Additional officers from UD and Dayton police departments were called. By 6:30 p.m., police dressed in riot gear cleared the streets and ordered students to go inside their homes.

St. Patrick's Day on Dayton 2018(Steve Maguire)

The university reported that no one was arrested during the police action.

RELATED >>> UD’s St. Patrick’s Day revelry moves indoors after officers in riot gear push back crowds

The party started, and for some, ended early Saturday morning.

--- At 2:37 a.m., Dayton officers responded to a home on Illinois Avenue because of a stabbing complaint, according to the police incident report. A person had been stabbed with a knife and an investigation by officers determined the stabbing occurred about 30 minutes earlier at Carmichael’s Pub, 3011 Wayne Ave., according to the report. No further details were immediately available, including the severity of the injuries and whether any suspects have been identified or arrested.

--- A woman, Alecia Swain, 38, was arrested for allegedly causing a disturbance at 3:30 a.m. at a home in the 300 block of Kenilworth Avenue, according to a Dayton police report.

Alecia Swain

--- Police said a man called 9-1-1 to report his neighbor, identified as the suspect, was intoxicated and causing a disturbance at his home. The caller told the dispatcher he was going to shoot the woman if police didn’t get there soon. Police responded and arrested Swain on suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct, according to the report.

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A domestic violence incident was reported at 1 a.m. at The Fieldhouse, 1126 Brown St.

A 33-year-old male from Dayton was listed as the complainant. No arrest was reported and no further information was released.

--- Jamaad Gardner, 28, was arrested around 11:35 p.m. Friday near Newcom’s Tavern, 418 E. Fifth St., according to a Dayton police report.

Police said Gardner was kicked out of the bar for causing a disturbance and once outside, he allegedly struck one of the bar’s security guards in the face, breaking his ear piece.

Gardner allegedly resisted officers during his arrest, according to the report. He remained an inmate at the Montgomery County Jail Sunday.

Jamaad Gardner

--- At 8:30 p.m. Friday, an assault was reported at Blind Bob’s Café, 430 E. Fifth St., according to the police report.

Workers there told officers the victim, a 40-year-old man, was standing outside when he was “sucker punched” by another male who then ran away, according to the police report. Police said the victim was lying on the ground and bleeding when officers arrived. The victim was highly intoxicated and apparently did not realize he’d been struck, according to the report.

--- A 29-year-old man from Illinois reported that someone stole his Samsung 8 Plus from his back pocket while he was inside Ned Peppers, 419 E. Fifth St., according to a Dayton police report.

The incident happened around 1:13 a.m. Friday, but the victim didn’t realize he was missing his phone until he called police at 8:22 a.m., according to the report.

The victim told police he was able to track his phone from the bar on East Fifth to the Dayton Towers apartments, according to the report.

Police said no search was conducted because there are multiple apartment units, according to the report.

--- At 6:04 a.m. Friday, police responded to a rollover crash at Home Avenue and College Street.

A black 2018 Cadillac XTS had struck a black 2011 Ford Fusion that was parked, according to the Dayton police report.

The driver of the Cadillac, identified as 38-year-old Devon Lamar Hayes, had apparently crawled out of the broken passenger’s side window and was lying on the ground next to the overturned vehicle, according to the report.

Police said the driver smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot, glassy eyes; and officers found a three-quarter-full bottle of Courvoisier was found inside the vehicle.

Hayes was arrested and taken to the hospital to be checked out for injuries, according to the report.

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