DAYTON (WCMH) — It’s been a week of mourning and a week of tears for some in Dayton following last Sunday’s mass shooting that killed nine people.
“I just feel sad more than anything,” said resident Melissa Ratliff.
Hearts are heavy in the Oregon District since the early morning of Aug. 4, when 24-year-old Connor Betts fired an automatic rifle into a crowd of people, killing nine and injuring 27 outside of Ned Peppers restaurant and bar.
Ned Peppers has reopened, but a makeshift memorial still stands outside the establishment.
The pain the community feels will linger for some time.
“Heavy emotion, just the gravity of it, and this is my first time coming to Fifth Street since it happened,” said Jenni Robillard. “The energy, it’s, it’s hard.”
There are signs of encouragement throughout the community, kind words to remind residents and visitors just how strong the community is.
However, Ratliff is already aware of the city’s strength.
“I think it will be the same,” she said. “There are strong people and we had tornados a couple months ago, early this summer, everyone pulling together. These are good people, strong people and they’ll heal, come together.”
Many said they wouldn’t let fear stop them from going out and enjoying Dayton and the beauty of the Oregon District.