Prose­cu­tors say Ohio shooter’s friend bought body ar­mor for him

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By John Seewer and Michael Balsamo

A long­time friend of the Day­ton gun­man bought the body ar­mor, a 100-round mag­a­zine, and a gun ac­ces­sory used to kill nine peo­ple, but there’s no in­di­ca­tion that the man knew that his friend was plan­ning a mass shoot­ing, fed­eral agents said Mon­day.

Ethan Kol­lie told in­ves­ti­ga­tors just hours af­ter the shoot­ing that he bought the equip­ment and kept it at his apart­ment so Betts’ par­ents would not find it, ac­cord­ing to a court doc­u­ment.

Fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors em­pha­sized that there was no ev­i­dence that Kol­lie knew how Con­nor Betts would use the equip­ment or that Kol­lie in­ten­tion­ally took part in the plan­ning.

The ac­cu­sa­tions came as prose­cu­tors un­sealed charges against Kol­lie that they said were un­re­lated to the Aug. 4 shoot­ing in Day­ton, Ohio. Betts opened fire in a pop­u­lar en­ter­tain­ment dis­trict, killing his sis­ter and eight oth­ers. Of­fi­cers killed Betts within 30 sec­onds, just out­side a crowded bar, and au­thor­i­ties have said hun­dreds more peo­ple may have died if Betts had got­ten in­side.

Prose­cu­tors ac­cused Kol­lie of ly­ing about not us­ing mar­i­juana on fed­eral firearms forms in the pur­chase of a pis­tol that was not used in the shoot­ing.

Pos­sess­ing a firearm as an un­law­ful user of a con­trolled sub­stance is a fed­eral crime pun­ish­able by up to 10 years in prison. Mak­ing a false state­ment re­gard­ing firearms car­ries a po­ten­tial max­i­mum sen­tence of up to five years’ im­pris­on­ment.

A mes­sage seek­ing com­ment was left at a phone num­ber for Kol­lie and with his at­tor­ney.

Po­lice have said there was noth­ing in Betts’ back­ground that would have pre­vented him from buy­ing the AR-15 style gun used in the shoot­ing.

The weapon was bought on­line from a dealer in Texas and shipped to an­other firearms dealer in the Day­ton area, po­lice said on the day of the shoot­ing.

Betts and Kol­lie ap­par­ently had been friends for sev­eral years.

Kol­lie told agents that they had smoked mar­i­juana and used acid sev­eral times a week be­gin­ning in 2014 through 2015, said U.S. At­tor­ney Ben­jamin Glass­man.

Betts was with Kol­lie in 2016 when Betts was charged with driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice re­port from Bell­brook where the gun­man lived with his par­ents.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have not re­leased a mo­tive for the shoot­ing.

Eight of the vic­tims who died were shot mul­ti­ple times, ac­cord­ing to the Mont­gomery County coroner’s of­fice. More than 30 oth­ers were in­jured, hos­pi­tal of­fi­cials and in­ves­ti­ga­tors said.

Kol­lie

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