DAYTON — Dutch Woods II was one of the 37 people who survived their injuries after a gunman killed nine others in Dayton’s Oregon District.
Woods was shot in the elbow after the bullet initially grazed his leg.
“The first thing you think of is running,” Woods told News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy in an exclusive interview. “But when you don’t know where the shots coming from you can’t run, you’ve gotta just take cover.”
Woods said he was with standing in line at Ned Pepper’s with Thomas “TJ” McNichols, a man he’d just met at another bar that night, when the shooter Connor Betts opened fire. McNichols was one of the nine people who died.
“As the shots get closer, I started to duck,” Woods said. “You could hear the shooter coming right out to the sidewalk.”
Woods hid behind a car and seven Dayton police officers came running. Six of those officers fired shots killing Betts.
“I didn’t know what to do,” said Woods. “Something just told me to stay calm and just duck behind that car.”
“A second later I look up and Dayton police were returning fire with the shooter,” he said. “He was right above me. I looked up he was right there. He saved my life.”
Woods drove himself to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment and has since been released.
Wednesday afternoon Woods was back at the hospital, this time to meet with President Donald Trump. Trump visited first responders, hospital workers and victims during his visit to Dayton.
Woods says his heart goes out to all of the people families who lost a loved one.
He realizes just how lucky he was.
“That could have been me,” Woods said. “I’ve been talking with God a lot. I feel like he’s got a plan for me.”