(Reuters) – A friend of the Ohio man who killed nine people in Dayton was accused Monday of lying about his drug use on a form when he bought a gun and told Authorities he had bought armor and accessories for the shooter, a federal prosecutor said.
The August 4 attack, which ended when police shot and killed 24-year-old gunman Connor Betts, was one of three large-scale shootings in the last three weeks that stunned the United States and fueled its long debate on firearms. rights.
South American District Attorney Benjamin Glassman accused Ethan Kollie, a 24-year-old Betts' friend, of making a false statement about guns. He was also charged with possession of a firearm by an illegal user of a controlled substance, according to court documents.
Glassman told a news conference in Dayton that Kollie had informed federal agents that he had bought armor, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle attachment, and a 100-drum dual-loader used by Betts. during the shooting.
Kollie's lawyer, Nicholas Gounaris, could not be contacted immediately for a comment.
Kollie of Kettering, located a few miles south of Dayton, kept the items in her apartment to help Betts hide them from Betts' parents, according to an affidavit.
"There is no evidence or allegation … that Kollie deliberately participated in the planning of the August 4th shooting," Glassman said. "That's not what it's about in this case."
The authorities obtained the form Kollie used to buy a gun last May and found that the man answered "No" to a question asking if he was an illegal drug user or if he was addicted to marijuana , a depressant, a stimulant or any other controlled substance.
"He confessed that he remembered filling out the form … and falsely stating that he was not a user of illegal drugs," Glassman said. "He knew that if he had answered honestly, he would not have received the gun he was buying."
Betts opened fire on August 4 in front of a bar in Dayton District, Oregon. The shooting ended quickly when the nearby police moved in and shot Betts. Among the victims are Megan, Betts's 22-year-old sister. At least 14 people were injured by bullets, while others were injured during their escape.
Glassman said the shooting investigation was continuing.
The weapon used by Betts was legally purchased online from a reseller in Texas and shipped to a local firearms dealer, local police said.
In an interview at Kollie's home on the day of the shooting, officers smelled marijuana and noticed a marijuana bong and a Micro Draco pistol in his possession, Glassman said.
Later in the week, the authorities again questioned Kollie, this time at work, where he told them he owned a firearm and that he had been using drugs with Betts as well as marijuana and acid four or five times a week from 2014 to 2015, Glassman. said.
A man visits the Shooting Victims Memorial in Dayton, Ohio, August 7, 2019. REUTERS / Bryan Woolston
Kollie told the authorities that he smoked marijuana every day for 10 years. He also told the officers that he "microdose" the mushrooms steadily, adding that it gave him energy and was "fun," according to the affidavit.
Kollie, who was arrested Friday, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The FBI said last week that Betts had a history of violent obsessions and that he had planned to commit mass murder before going off into the historic downtown Dayton.
Report by Peter Szekely in New York and Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; edited by Cynthia Osterman and Leslie Adler
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