Feds: Friend bought body armor, parts used in Dayton mass shooting
DAYTON, Ohio — Federal authorities have arrested a man who acknowledged purchasing body armor, AR-15 parts and a 100-round double drum magazine for the Dayton shooter.
Ethan Kollie, 24, of Kettering, was arrested Friday night in Beavercreek on suspicion of a firearms violation unrelated to the Oregon District shooting, according to Montgomery County Jail records and an unsealed complaint signed by a federal agent.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman held a news conference Monday to discuss the complaint.
Kollie told federal authorities he purchased the items for shooter Connor Betts, then hid them in his apartment to assist Betts in hiding them from his parents, the complaint says.
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) August 12, 2019
Kollie said that about 10 weeks ago, he helped Betts assemble the AR-15 used in the Oregon district shooting, the complaint says. The drum magazine arrived about six to eight weeks ago.
Glassman said Kollie was charged with possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of any controlled substance and making false statements or representations. He faces up to 15 years in prison, Glassman said.
Glassman added there’s no indication Kollie knew he was assisting Betts in the Oregon District shooting.
Betts opened fire in the Oregon District, resulting in the deaths of nine people on Aug. 4 before police shot and killed him. He injured dozens, either through gunfire or in the ensuing chaos near Ned Peppers bar.
Betts wielded a semi-automatic pistol that police say was modified to act like a rifle, with an attached drum magazine that could hold up to 100 .223-caliber rounds. Police say he may have had up to 250 rounds of ammunition on him, and they found a shotgun in his car.
Dayton gunman entered bar with sister, male companion. 45 minutes later, he left and apparently armed himself at vehicle, then returned to kill sister. Then he crossed street and killed 8 more people. https://t.co/hUKAA6zsqt
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) August 7, 2019
The complaint says Kollie was interviewed at his house by the FBI and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the shooting’s aftermath.
“While inside, the agents smelled marijuana and observed, in plain sight, paraphernalia consistent with smoking marijuana, including what appeared to be a ‘bong,’” the agent said in the complaint. Agents also observed a pistol, the complaint says.
Agents went to Kollie’s work Thursday, where he told the agents he and Betts had done “hard drugs,” marijuana and acid together several times a week in 2014 and 2015, the complaint says.
Ethan Kollie, the friend of the Dayton gunman who killed nine people, told federal agents he bought him body armor, a gun accessory and a 100-round magazine earlier this year, according to an unsealed court document. https://t.co/4FQyzCN3Hb pic.twitter.com/d7HG33AH7D
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) August 12, 2019
Kollie also told the agents he still used marijuana. The agent’s complaint said that Kollie had checked “no” on the ATF form that must be completed to purchase a firearm from a local dealer.
“Kollie stated that he answered ‘no’ to the question regarding drug use,” the complaint says. “When asked why he lied, Kollie stated he knew that if he told the truth about his drug use, he would not be allowed to purchase a firearm, so he lied and answered ‘no.’”