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Dayton mass killer had cocaine and alcohol in system

Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio (AP)
Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio (AP)

By John Seewer and Dan Sewell

The gunman who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, had cocaine on him and in his system during the mass shooting.

Montgomery County coroner Dr Kent Harshbarger said Connor Betts (24) had a pipe device and a bag of cocaine with him, and cocaine, alcohol and an antidepressant in his blood.

Dr Harshbarger also reported in his preliminary post-mortem findings that police stopped Betts with at least two-dozen gunshots that hit him at gaps in his body armour.

The coroner said police gunfire hit two people. One of them died, but Dr Harshbarger said the gunman, not police, fired the lethal round.

Meanwhile, Betts' parents have apologised for the wording in his obituary that did not mention the mass shooting whose victims included his younger sister.

Stephen and Moira Betts issued a statement that said the obituary for Connor Betts was "insensitive in not acknowledging the terrible tragedy that he created". They said they wanted to reflect the son they knew and were not trying to "minimise horror of his last act".

The obituary described Betts as a "funny, articulate and intelligent man with striking blue eyes and a kind smile" before it was taken down by a funeral home in their hometown of Bellbrook.

Betts opened fire in a popular entertainment district in Dayton. Police shot him as he approached a crowded bar.

It is not known whether Betts targeted his 22-year-old sister Megan. They had spent an hour together at a bar in the same area before the shooting.

The family will be holding private memorial services for both of their children.

Ethan Kollie, a long-time friend of Betts who told investigators he bought the body armour, ammunition and a key part of the gun Betts used in the attack, was in court on Thursday.

Authorities said there is no indication Kollie knew Betts was planning the shooting. But Kollie is charged with lying on a federal firearms form while buying a pistol not used in the shooting.

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