Oregon District shootings: Memorials moved, woman caring for them won’t be charged following arrest

Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 @ 1:42 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 @ 5:47 PM

Oregon District memorials moved, woman who took care of them arrested

UPDATE @ 3:50 p.m.:

The woman who was arrested after police said she had been disruptive near the memorial sites will not be facing charges after the prosecutor declined to approve charges, a court clerk said.

INITIAL REPORT:

Content Continues Below

The memorials - candles, signs and flowers - that were created in a tribute to the slain in the Oregon District shooting were consolidated and moved on Tuesday.

The memorials had grown in size daily since the Aug. 4 shooting deaths of nine people in the Oregon District as well as the gunman, Connor Betts. Dayton police shot and killed Betts after he opened fire on a crowd of people.

Downtown ambassadors have moved everything from in front of one of the memorial sites - the sidewalk in front of the Hole in the Wall bar, and consolidated them with items left in front of Ned Peppers bar. Older flowers were removed and the memorial is now smaller.

At a Dayton police press conference Tuesday, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said there have been discussions about creating a permanent memorial to the victims, but that it wouldn’t happen any time soon.

MORE: Shooting tragedy fund could reach $1.5 million

On Monday night, the woman who was taking care of the memorials was arrested after she reportedly threw a chair into the memorial. Dayton police arrested Annette Gibson-Strong, 60, for disorderly conduct around 8:30 p.m. in front of Hole in the Wall.

Dayton police said Gibson-Strong had been disruptive for the past couple of nights, including yelling at people when they came too close to the memorials or who tried to move parts of the memorials.

On Friday, there was controversy because Gibson-Strong said she was told by the owner of Ned Peppers and Hole in the Wall bars that the memorials needed to be moved.

She sat in front of the memorials, saying it was disrespectful to move them before all the funerals were over.

Gibson said she planned to take items from the memorials to the victims’ funerals.

Services were conducted for most of the nine victims of the Aug. 4 shooting on Saturday and Monday.

Gibson-Strong attended Thomas McNichol’s funeral on Monday. She didn’t sit down the entire service, standing next to the family. She was asked to leave, according to News Center 7’s Mike Campbell.

MORE: Remembering the victims

Gibson-Strong is still in the Montgomery County jail.

Last week, Gibson-Strong started cleaning the memorials. She would make sure each candle was lit and cover the memorials when it rained. Gibson-Strong said her son was killed 27 years ago and that was why she felt compelled to take care of the memorials. According to Daily News archives, Antoine Gibson, 19, died from a gunshot wound in December of 1992.