© 2021 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
WYSO Names New Music Director (click here for more)
Local and Statewide News

Gunman's Neighbor: It's Grief For Everybody

In Bellbrook, Kristine Hodson-Gainey reflects on tragic circumstances that have come so close to home.
Jerry Kenney
In Bellbrook, Kristine Hodson-Gainey reflects on tragic circumstances that have come so close to home.

There’s still more to know about the 24-year-old who gunned down nine people, including his 22-year-old sibling Megan, outside Ned Peppers Bar in the Oregon District Sunday. More than thirty others were injured. While authorities are still investigating, many in the Miami Valley are simply asking why this deadly shooting took place.

The gunman lived with his family in Bellbrook, where Kristine Hodson-Gainey lives, too. She talks about the Dayton suburb she calls home.

“I've grown up here my whole life. It's been a small community as I was young that's getting bigger and bigger as we speak but It’s still pretty tight knit.”

Kristine and her husband Marc live just a few houses down from the Betts family. For three days, she says they had statewide, national, and international press camped out on the sidewalk in front of their home.

That ended Tuesday once the Betts family released a statement on the Oregon District shooting. The Bellbrook native says all of the press members were very respectful of the neighborhood, and several reporters asked if she knew the Betts family.

“I just don't know them in a personal way and none of my circle of friends seems to have known them very personally," she says. "But they're still part of our community. They're part of our neighborhood. They've been part of a tragedy. So, it's grief for everybody."

Kristine says neighbors were allowed past the street barricade to deliver flowers and notes of support to the family.

Credit Jerry Kenney / WYSO
Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl speaking to the press in Dayton's Oregon District on a day when protestors to President Trump's visit to the city clashed with his supporters.

In the statement released by the Betts family on Tuesday, they thanked the Dayton Police and Fire departments for their quick response in minimizing casualties, but it’s not known yet if they’ve given investigators any clues to why the gunman opened fire on Sunday morning.

Speaking to press stationed in the Oregon District on Wednesday, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl says the shooter's motive may never be known.

“I think we need to take the concept of motive and think of it in a broader sense, what was that mindset, what contributed to that mindset, which was a propensity and an obsession for violence. What was the basis for that? And it wasn’t something that started on Sunday.”

Biehl says investigators still have a mountain of digital and physical evidence to comb through, calling it a long-term process.

Hear the full interview with Kristine Hodson-Gainey of Bellbrook as she reflects on the media's treatment of a community in crisis and the tragic circumstances surrounding her neighbors.