I-TEAM: ‘Everybody deserves answers;’ FBI on closed investigation of Oregon District shooting

DAYTON — For the first time since the Federal Bureau of Investigation closed its investigation into the Oregon District mass shooting, federal investigators are talking on camera to News Center 7′s I-Team about what they found.

“It is absolutely critical that we do this investigation the right way. This community and our country deserves an answer as to why this happened,” Todd Wickerham, FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge, said three days after the mass shooting on Aug. 4, 2019.

>> RELATED: FBI investigation into Oregon District Mass Shooting closed

The I-Team kept pushing for answers over the past four years and Friday, a representative from the FBI sat down with lead investigator John Bedell for an interview about their findings.

“I understand everybody deserves answers and absolutely you need that for closure,” Dr. Karie Gibson, unit chief of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU).

Gibson led the BAU’s investigation into Oregon District mass shooter Connor Betts of Bellbrook.

“We really look at the specifics related to the offender and the behavior of the offender and really answer the ‘why’ behind the attack,” Gibson said.

The FBI said in its investigative report released in late 2021 that it found no specific warnings Betts intend to commit a crime. The agency added there were no indications he talked about his plans for the shooting with friends or family.

>> FBI: Oregon District shooter ‘fantasized about mass shootings,’ however no specific warnings seen

Gibson explained the kind of profile her unit came up with for Betts.

“What we were able to really find is you had somebody that was very fascinated with mass violence and also did not have very strong coping skills to deal with his own life and his own stressors,” Gibson said. “And so when you have all that kind of coming together in combination with the mental health stressors and some very consistent loss of anchors in his life prior to the attack, it all kind of comes together to lead him down that path to commit the decision for a mass attack.”

After starting a 28-month investigation by saying the Dayton community deserved answers, Bedell asked if she felt her unit worked to give the community answers as to why this tragedy happened.

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“Yeah, absolutely. I think if you go back and you look at what’s written in the press release specific to those related to the attacker’s motivations, I think it helps, you know, give those answers that they’re seeking,” she said.

The I-Team filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the FBI for its entire investigatory file on the Oregon District in 2021. We still have not gotten those documents. We’ll continue to provide updates when we do.

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