Oregon District Shooting

Oregon District Shooting: ‘Never Forget the 9,′ as a phrase, takes on special significance

DAYTON — “Never Forget the 9″ has become a catch phrase, as it were, of the people shot and killed four years ago in the Oregon District Shooting.

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Friday marked the first time since the Aug. 4, 2019, tragedy that Ned Pepper’s, the place where the shooter was himself shot dead by Dayton police, is open for business.

One of those killed, Derrick Fudge, continues to be remembered in a special way through the Fudge Foundation, which was started by his son Dion, who was wounded that night.

“I’m still hurting,” Dion told News Center 7′s Brandon Lewis on Friday afternoon as people gathered in the district for the fourth anniversary of the mass shooting.

“I found myself in the hospital two weeks ago from the trauma that I’ve experienced with high blood pressure,” he said.

“I never had high blood pressure symptoms in my life with the stress and knowing what’s coming up and knowing what I endured, put me in the hospital.

“So people need to quit seeing, realizing what’s going on on the surface because you see me here and I’m smiling and I’m loving and giving hugs that I’m really hurt inside,” he said.

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Business owners in the district also vow to never forget the nine or those who were wounded, but they want patrons and customers to shake the fear of returning to the district.

Lionel Bertie, who owns a business next door to Ned Pepper’s, said, “A lot of people are scared to come down because they think it may happen again. But the community down here is strong.”

Whether business owner or patron or even visitor, the day will forever carry a significance like no other.

“For most people it is it’s just another day,” said Gerald Greene, Fudge Foundation board member. “But for for Deon and other survivors, this is something they deal with, not only every day, but every moment of every day.”

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