Oregon District Shooting: Rep. Mike Turner recounts daughter’s escape from mass shooting

DAYTON — U.S. Rep. Mike Turner’s daughter, Jessica, was there when the shots rang out in the Oregon District.

She and a friend had just crossed Fifth Street in the District and were about to enter a restaurant as the gunman opened fire.

The Congressman told News Center 7 his daughter rushed into Tumbleweed Connection, right across the street from Ned Peppers Bar. Ned Peppers is where the shooter had tried to enter but was kept out by the bouncer, who held the door shut.

With the others in the restaurant, she and her friend hit the floor and moved to the back of the business, away from the windows, according to Turner.

His daughter, along with others in the restaurant, made her way out the back door to safety.

“She called me as she was fleeing and said they didn’t know how many shooters there were, whether or not the area was safe. So they were going to keep going. And so it was almost an hour before we got real information and an understanding that the shooter had been killed and the situation was now safe,” Turner said Tuesday.

Turner voiced support for reform measures being sought by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who at his COVID-19 briefing Tuesday held a moment of silence for the victims of the tragedy.

“Nine people who were fiercely loved by their family and by their friends. Nine people who we cannot and should not forget. Today we remember them and remember the others who were wounded that morning. And all those others who carry the emotional scars of that night,” DeWine said.

The governor continued his call for action by state lawmakers to pass meaningful gun reform to prevent another mass shooting. Previous efforts to pass gun reform were rejected by lawmakers.

DeWine highlighted some administrative changes he is undertaking to improve safety that do not require legislative approval. Among them is a pilot program to prevent gun sales to people who legally should not be able to buy a gun because they have an active warrant for their arrest or they have been named in a judge’s protective order.

That program will begin soon in Montgomery County and nine other counties. DeWine plans to eventually take that program statewide. It involves making sure local and state databases are updated so that gun dealers and all levels of law enforcement have the information they need.