BEAVERCREEK — Court documents obtained Wednesday by News Center 7′s I-Team show what investigators found in the home and car of the man who opened fire inside the Beavercreek Walmart.
The investigation into the shooting is now being probed as partially “racially motivated,” according to the FBI on Wednesday.
“Based on evidence collected, including journal writings from the attacker, he may have been at least partially inspired by Racially Motivated Violent Extremist ideology. The FBI will continue to investigate the motivating factors leading to this attack,” an FBI spokesperson said.
Two Nazi flags, “the SS history book,” a shooting complex card, handwritten notes, a laptop, and an external hard drive were among the items investigators discovered when they searched 20-year-old Benjamin Charles Jones’ house on Buell Lane in Dayton, according to documents uncovered by the I-Team’s lead investigator, John Bedell.
Jones was caught on Walmart surveillance video Monday night getting out of a black pick-up truck in the parking lot of the store on Pentagon Blvd. and entering the store with a backpack and rifle, according to court documents. Jones left his truck running with the driver’s side door open.
Law enforcement found Jones’ truck and noted that “there appeared to be a handwritten note inside the truck,” court documents stated.
News Center 7 was on scene at a home on Buell Lane Tuesday when two people who identified themselves as FBI agents were questioning neighbors. Based on their investigation, both agents asked News Center 7 to conceal their identities.
Paul Becker, a sociology professor at the University of Dayton, told the I-Team’s lead investigator, John Bedell, that the “SS history book” investigators described in a property inventory form is a book about Nazis.
“It was basically the police state of Nazi Germany and they were allowed to operate without any type of restrictions or intervention.”
Becker, who’s been studying extremist groups for the last 30 years, said that in light of the discovery of what they found, one of the main things that will come next for the FBI’s investigation into a motive will be learning about the victims injured in the shooting.
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“And seeing if you can make any direct connections between him targeting specific individuals and that might give more insight,” Becker said.
Patrick Oliver, the director of the Criminal Justice Program at Cedarville University who spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement, said investigators will dig through Jones’ social media profiles, documents, electronic devices, and any handwritten notes to get answers.
“The FBI is doing the only thing they can do at this point, and that is provide some information to the victim’s family and the victims about the shooter’s history and why he might have done this,” Oliver said.
As News Center 7 previously reported, Jones entered the store shortly after 8:30 p.m. and began shooting. Four people were hurt, one of which remains in critical but stable condition. Jones was found behind the Vision Center in the store, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The FBI confirmed Wednesday afternoon that two of the victims are white and the other two are Black.