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Oregon District mass shooter's parents apologize for 'insensitive' obituary

Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 @ 7:47 PM
Updated: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 @ 4:03 PM

Betts family plans two funeral services

UPDATE @ 4:03 p.m. (Aug. 14):

The Betts family has removed an obituary for Connor Betts from an area funeral home’s website and updated it with the following:

“Stephen and Moira Betts apologize that the wording of the obituary for their son Connor was insensitive in not acknowledging the terrible tragedy that he created. In their grief, they presented the son that they knew which in no way reduces the horror of his last act. We are deeply sorry.”

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INITIAL STORY:

A family mourning the loss of a Dayton mass shooting victim and the gunman is planning private services for their son and daughter.

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The Betts family one week earlier offered “their most heartfelt prayers and condolences to all of the victims, their families and friends” in a statement read on their behalf by Bellbrook Police Chief Doug Doherty.

Now, Moira and Stephen Betts have composed obituaries and provided dozens of family photos of their only children, 22-year-old Megan and 24-year-old Connor, at Bellbrook’s Conner & Koch Funeral Home website. 

 It’s unclear when the private services were scheduled.

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Connor Betts armed himself with a modified pistol and opened fire shortly after 1 a.m. Aug. 4 on East Fifth Street in Dayton’s historic Oregon District. The gunfire killed nine people, including his sister, and wounded 17 others before Dayton police shot and killed Betts as he tried to enter Ned Peppers bar.

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Megan Betts, described as “loving, intelligent and a bright young woman, worked at Bed Bath & Beyond in Centerville and was set to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in earth science from Wright State University, where she sang with the Wright State University Chorale. She was fascinated with rocks, starting from a young age, and hoped to work for NASA to be a part of exploring the viability of life on other planets.

Highly creative, she loved to sew and enjoyed anything crafty. “She was so happy making personalized gifts for her family, especially her mom and friends,” according to her obituary.

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Her favorite places were being with her family, the Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Yellow Springs, the Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina, and the mountains of Missoula, Montana, where she interned as a tour guide this summer at the Smokejumper Visitor Center with the U.S. Forest Service.

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The obituary for Connor Betts called him “a funny, articulate and intelligent man with striking blue eyes and a kind smile.”

He also loved music of all kinds, especially electronic dance music, and had played baritone in his high school marching band and previously sang bass in the Wright State Men’s Chorale Group. He worked at Chipotle in Centerville and was attending Sinclair Community College. An avid reader, his interests as he grew older included fiction, alternative history books and keeping up-to-date on current politics, the obituary stated.

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The obituary for both Betts children suggested memorial contributions be made to the Glen Helen Nature Preserve, or by mail, Glen Helen Ecology Institute, 405 Corry St. Yellow Springs, OH 45387.