DeWine: Dayton police fast action saved ‘many, many lives’

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Gov. Mike DeWine praised police officers and first responders who shot and killed a 24-year-old mass shooting suspect in less than a minute after the shooting started.

“The officers who were involved in ending this tragedy, their professionalism, their quickness, their amazing courage, and their response undoubtedly saved many, many lives. We will never know how many lives were saved,” DeWine said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

RELATED: Police: Suspect and 9 others killed, 27 injured in downtown Dayton shooting

Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting including Ned Peppers bar, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Connor Betts, of Bellbrook, Ohio, has been identified as the mass shooting suspect who killed nine people just after 1 a.m. outside of Ned Peppers in the 400 block of East Fifth Street. 

RELATED: 24-year-old Ohio man identified as Dayton mass shooting suspect

Ten people are dead, including the suspect. Twenty-seven others were injured, police said.

Melody Stout and Hannah Payan comfort each other during a vigil for victims of the shooting that occurred earlier in the day at a shopping center, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

DeWine said he and his wife, Fran, toured the area where the shooting occurred on Sunday.

He said the number of victims could have been much higher.

“The assailant was obviously very, very close to being able to kill dozens and dozens more people. In this tragedy, we have to thank our first responders, we have to thank our police department for the amazing job that they have done,” DeWine said.

DeWine offered condolences to the victims, their families and the city of Dayton.

“My wife Fran and I want to express to the victims, the victims’ families, the Dayton community, our great sympathy,” DeWine said. “This is a heartbreaking tragedy. And it is the type of tragedy that you pray never comes to your state or to your community.”

He said Dayton and Montgomery County officials had practiced in advance for a tragedy like the mass shooting that occurred on Sunday.

They’re preparation showed, he said.

“You practice for these tragedies and you pray they never occur. If you don’t practice, you’re not ready. It’s clear: Dayton was ready. The community was ready.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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