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Friend of Ohio mass shooter arrested on firearms charges

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

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WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A 24-year-old man who purchased body armour and rifle parts for the gunman who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, has been arrested on firearms charges, officials said Monday.

Ethan Kollie was charged with lying about his drug use in order to buy a gun, but was not charged with direct involvement in the August 4 mass shooting in Dayton by his friend Conner Betts, also 24.

"Mr Kollie does not stand accused of intentionally participating in the planning of that shooting," Benjamin Glassman, US attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said at a press conference. "We have no evidence of that. There's no allegation of that."

Glassman said Kollie was charged with making a false statement about his use of illegal drugs in order to buy himself a Draco pistol.

In the criminal complaint against Kollie, FBI agents said he had also admitted buying body armour, a part for an AR-15 rifle and a 100-round magazine for Betts and stored the items at his apartment.

Betts retrieved the items about six to eight weeks ago, the FBI said.

Betts was shot dead by police after killing nine people in downtown Dayton, including his 22-year-old sister, in the early hours of August 4.

The FBI has said that Betts had been exploring "violent ideologies" before staging the attack but declined to provide any details on what they were.

The Dayton shooting came just hours after an avowed white supremacist killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas.


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