Dayton shooter was apparently a self-professed ‘leftist,’ Warren & Sanders fan
Connor Betts, who has been identified as the gunman who killed nine people outside a Dayton bar on Sunday, allegedly ran a Twitter page under the handle @iamthespookster, in which he expressed anti-fascist, left-wing views, mostly by means of retweeting, with occasional original tweets.
The account has now been suspended, though some of the tweets can still be accessed through web page archiving services. The page was unearthed by Heavy.com, which cited “several family linkages” and the images that appeared on the alleged shooter’s page and those of his relatives as proof that the account is authentic. Among the followers of the now-suspended page, there is Steve Betts (Stephen is the name of Connor Betts’ father), who in turn follows Meg Betts (Meghan was the name of his sister who was killed in the rampage). The appearance of the shooter in photos by police also matches several pictures posted by the account.
A brief scan of Betts’ alleged Twitter feed shows that he was a supporter of the Democratic Party, and not a fan of President Donald Trump. He urged people to “vote blue” and rallied behind Democratic presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. In one reply, he wrote he wouldn’t vote for Kamala Harris “cuz Harris is a cop.”
In his profile description, Betts described himself as a “leftist” and included a now ominous sounding prophecy: “I’m going to hell and I’m not coming back.”
Like many progressives, he was critical of the Trump administration’s migration policy, retweeting posts that call border agents “monsters” and detention centers at the US-Mexico border “concentration camps.”
Here are more tweets of the suspect promoting "concentration camp" rhetoric pic.twitter.com/bDgO7ibJJL— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 5, 2019
The suspect retweeted multiple tweets demonizing ICE pic.twitter.com/oJQW5pDUpg— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 5, 2019
Screenshots of his alleged posts circulating on Twitter show him expressing support for Antifa activist Willem Van Spronsen, who was killed by police last month after attempting an attack on an ICE detention center in Tacoma, Washington. Upon his demise, Spronsen became a “hero” and “martyr” among many anti-Trump people online.
Betts reportedly followed a number of Antifa accounts and retweeted their content.
Connor Betts also was a big fan of antifa. pic.twitter.com/qRRWposcxc— Chris Menahan 🇺🇸 (@infolibnews) August 5, 2019
Some of his posts going back several years appear to praise Satan, complete with a #HailSatan hashtag.
Connor Betts also made multiple "Hail Satan" and "666" posts and called himself an atheist. pic.twitter.com/VJy2L1TPoN— Chris Menahan 🇺🇸 (@infolibnews) August 5, 2019
There has been no official confirmation of the Twitter page’s authenticity. Twitter suspended it shortly after its existence was publicized by Heavy and was noticed by multiple conservative users. They took the opportunity to spread the word in an effort to regain ground in the gun violence debate following the shooting in El Paso, which left 20 people dead 13 hours prior. There, the gunman is alleged to be a white supremacist on an anti-Hispanic crusade.Also on rt.com Reports & ‘8chan manifesto’ identify El Paso shooter as Hispanic-hating, Christchurch-inspired 21yo
It is unclear whether Betts’ political beliefs, whatever they are, are what triggered or catalyzed the rampage. Police are still looking into his motives.
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