Attorney: Shooter’s friend shocked at killings
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – The attorney representing a man accused of buying and storing body armor for the Dayton gunman says his client was as shocked as anyone by the mass shooting.
Attorney Nick Gounaris also says his client, Ethan Kollie, fully cooperated with authorities before his arrest.
Federal prosecutors said Monday that Kollie bought the armor, a gun accessory and a 100-round magazine for his friend Connor Betts earlier this year.
They say Betts used that equipment on Aug. 4, when he opened fire in Dayton, Ohio, killing his sister and eight others.
Gounaris wouldn’t comment on what Kollie thought his friend would do with the items.
Authorities also emphasized there is no evidence that Kollie knew how Betts would use the equipment.
Prosecutors unsealed charges Monday against Kollie that they say are unrelated to the shooting.
Investigators say there is no indication that a man who bought and stored body armor for the Dayton gunman knew that his friend was planning a mass shooting.
Federal prosecutors say Ethan Kollie bought the armor, a gun accessory and a 100-round magazine for his friend Connor Betts earlier this year.
They say that Betts used that equipment on Aug. 4, when he opened fire in a popular entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, killing his sister and eight others.
Todd Wickerham of the FBI tells reporters Monday that it does not appear Kollie knew how Betts would use that equipment.
Prosecutors are accusing Kollie of lying on federal firearms forms. Those charges are not related to the shooting.
A message seeking comment was left with Kollie’s attorney.
Federal authorities say the friend of the Ohio shooter bought him body armor and a firearm accessory earlier this year.
Connor Betts opened fire in a popular entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, about a week ago, killing his sister and eight others. Officers shot Betts within 30 seconds, killing him just steps outside a crowded bar.
A charging document obtained by The Associated Press Monday says Ethan Kollie “indicated he purchased body armor and a firearm accessory for Betts earlier this year.”
Two Ohio lawmakers have reintroduced legislation restricting access to guns following the Dayton mass shooting.
State Sens. Cecil Thomas, of Cincinnati, and Peggy Lehner (LAY’-nuhr), of suburban Dayton, are working together on the bills. Thomas is a Democrat, and Lehner is a Republican.
One bill would require background checks on all firearms transactions. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has said he supports a similar measure.
The second bill raises the minimum age for all gun purchases to 21. Currently, a person must be 21 to buy a handgun, but 18-year-olds can purchase long guns. The proposal preserves exemptions for military members and law enforcement.
Lehner also now backs a Democrat-sponsored “red flag” bill creating a process for removing guns from someone who poses an imminent danger to themselves or others.
The Justice Department says a friend of the Ohio gunman is being charged with lying on federal firearms forms.
Authorities say more information about the charges being unsealed will be announced Monday afternoon.
The charges come a little over a week after the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. The 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire in a popular entertainment district, killing his sister and eight others.
Officers shot and killed Betts within 30 seconds of when his rampage started.
Police have said that there was nothing in Betts’ background that would have prevented him from buying the AR-15 style gun used in the shooting.
Investigators have not released a motive.