The ex-girlfriend of the suspected shooter who opened fire in Dayton this weekend said that they spoke openly about mental illness and suicidal thoughts.
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“He felt like he sucked and there really wasn’t much of a point in living,” Adelia Johnson told reporters on Tuesday.
Johnson, 24, said that she dated the suspected shooter, who authorities have identified as Connor Betts, for about two months this spring. They met in a class at Sinclair Community College in January, she said, and started dating in mid-March before breaking up in mid-May.
She said that mental illness “was actually a point that we kind of bonded over,” she said, adding that she has previously spent time in a mental hospital.
“Him talking about suicide and having suicidal thoughts, that wasn’t a scary thing for me,” she said, adding that “to my knowledge, when we were dating, there weren’t any [suicide] attempts.”
“He talked about current events and world tragedies like people talk about World War II and history. It was just something he was fascinated by,” Johnson said.
“He was interested in what makes terrible people do terrible things,” she said.
She said that he even showed her a video of a recent mass shooting on their first date.
In spite of being fascinated by tragedies, she said that he didn’t seem confused about whether they were bad or good.
“He knew that they were bad. He knew that they were horrific and he wanted to know what led a person to do those things,” she said.
When asked if she knew that he planned to commit a mass shooting or anything of the like, she said “I wouldn’t have dated him if he wanted to.”
Johnson said she did know that he had guns but didn’t find that surprising.
“I knew that he had them,” she said of his guns, “but it’s the Midwest so it’s not real big news for people to have guns.”
Johnson shared her thoughts about Betts hours after investigators gave an update, saying that he allegedly had a “history of obsessions with violent ideations” and that he “expressed the desire” to commit a mass shooting.