The country was rocked by three mass shootings that killed at least 32 people over the last eight days. In the most recent shooting six out of the nine people killed at a bar in Dayton, Ohio, were Black.
On Saturday, Connor Betts arrived at the city’s Oregon District, which is known as a popular area for entertainment and dining. Betts opened fire and within 32 seconds, he used an AR-15-style assault rifle and a 100-round drum to kill nine people — including his own sister — and then headed to the bar Ned Peppers, which is reportedly frequented by Black people.
The names of the Black people who were killed are as follows: Monica E. Brickhouse, 39; Derrick R. Fudge, 57; Thomas J. McNichols, 25; Lois L. Oglesby, 27; Saeed Saleh, 38; and Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36.
Betts was killed by authorities, who have not yet confirmed a motive for the mass shooting. But Twitter users began to speculate that Betts was angry that his sister was dating a Black man and was specifically targeting Black people during his rampage.
“The shooter in Dayton killed his sister because she was dating a black man. He then proceeded to kill 5 more black people just because. There is a sickness in this country and Trump’s racist rhetoric had emboldened that sickness. #TrumpsTerrorists #ThisIsAmerica,” one tweet read.
This motive is unfortunately not far-fetched considering the racist and white supremacist views of the gunmen of other mass public shootings in the week prior to Dayton.
Less than 24 hours before Betts opened fire, Patrick Crusius walked into a crowded El Paso, Texas, Walmart and began shooting. He killed 20 people, including several Mexican citizens, before he was safely taken into custody. Prior to the shooting, Crusius used social media to express his support for Donald Trump and he also posted a racist manifesto. Pages of the manifesto included anti-immigrant rhetoric with the author going into depth on why he is “against race mixing,” supports the idea to “send them back” and offering a prediction of “genocide.”
Just last week, Santino William Legan killed multiple people attending the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California. Legan left behind social media posts that show he may have been a white supremacist or at least sympathized with the racist movement. The final social media post Legan made prior to the July 28 shooting endorsed a book that has been widely tied to white supremacist hate groups and ideology.
Though there are many conversations being had around how to prevent these tragedies from happening, some times it is easy to forget the lives lost. Below are the stories of the six Black lives lost in Dayton.
1. Monica Brickhouse, 39
Monica Brickhouse was a mother and entrepreneur in the event planning business. According to WHIO, she was a Springfield, Ohio native, but had just relocated to Virginia Beach, Virginia. She was remembered by family and friends for her kindness.
“To lose a loved one to senseless violence is just unfair, especially since it could be preventable!!” Her friend Brittany Hart wrote on Facebook. “I am so sorry this has happened to you all!”
2. Derrick R. Fudge, 57
Derrick Fudge was a loving father and family man. Fudge’s sister, Twyla Southall, told WHIO that the Springfield, Ohio resident was out in the Oregon District with several family members, including his son, when the shooting took place.
“They were all just down there enjoying themselves and had stepped out of, I think, one of the clubs and were in a line to get some food,” she said. “He was a good man and loved his family.”
3. Thomas J. McNichols, 25
Thomas McNichols was a father of 4, two girls and two boys, and described by his family as a “gentle giant.”
“He was so tall and a lot of folks thought he was older than he really was,” his aunt, Donna Johnson said.
McNichols went to the Oregon District with a cousin after a long day of work, but having a good time with family was not out of the ordinary.
“Everybody loved him. He was like a big kid,” Johnson said. “When all of the movies come out – Batman, Black Panther – he would get all his nephews and take them to the movies.”
4. Lois Oglesby, 27
Lois L. Oglesby was a mother of two, who friends and family said loved her children. According to a tweet, just before her death, she completed a dollhouse with her eldest daughter. According to WHIO-TV, Oglesby had just returned to work at daycare after being on maternity leave and she was also working toward a nursing degree to make the most of her love for children.
“She was a wonderful mother, a wonderful person,” her friend Derasha Merrett said. “I have cried so much, I can’t cry anymore.”
5. Saeed Saleh, 39
Saeed Saleh was remembered as a kindhearted and hard working man. Though he lived in Dayton, he was a Sudanese native and many people of the Eriea community came from across the state to pay their respects.
“We are here as a family, no matter who we are, as the city of Dayton is a welcoming city, so we are trying to come over with it,” Yahya Khamis, president of the Dayton Sudanese community, said.
His funeral has tentatively been scheduled for Aug. 10.
6. Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36
Beatrice Warren-Curtis had recently moved to Dayton from Virginia. Her cousin, Andrew Crockett, wrote on Facebook that, “My dad’s side of the family is devastated, nothing about this is right, and unfortunately, there’s nothing that will make it right.”