MUNCIE, IN(NewsLink) - Nine people died and 27 were injured in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio’s Oregon District early Sunday morning. Now, students from Ball State reflect on how safe they feel if a situation like this were to arise

Officials identified the Dayton shooter as Connor Betts, a 24-year-old psychology student at a local community college. He was shot and killed at the scene by Dayton police, who apprehended the shooter in under 30 seconds.

The Oregon District is a popular hangout place for both visitors and locals. NewsLink Indiana Executive Producer and Ball State student Celia Lavoie, who used to visit the area, said it’s like the Village at Ball State, only bigger.

“It’s got a great bar scene. There’s lots of awesome restaurants and shops too. It’s really got something for everyone,” Lavoie said. 

She also said things like the shooting don’t happen there. “It’s Dayton’s oldest neighborhood. The neighborhood and city are proud of that fact… It’s a matter of pride. You don’t have hate in a place you are so proud of.” She also mentioned that she felt safe whenever she went there. “When I’ve been at the Oregon District at night, I have always seen a police presence.”

While the shooting has been described as “heartbreaking” by Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, she still has confidence that the community will recover. Lavoie believes the same, “Everyone is your neighbor in Dayton. It’s a big city with all the small town feels. The city will come back from this and Daytonians will recover. It’s just what we do.”

The shooting in the Oregon District was just a short 10 minutes from the University of Dayton campus, which made it a hangout for some students, similar to Ball State’s Village. When asked if she thought Ball State UPD or Muncie Police would respond quickly if an event like this were to occur in Muncie, Lavoie stated that she felt safe. “Whenever I go to the Village, I see a police presence at some point in the night. I don’t go out a ton, but when I do, I feel safe.” 

Matthew Peiffer, another Ball State student, agrees with Lavoie. “UPD patrols the Village almost every 15 minutes it seems and for when they aren’t there MPD is doing a drive through… I think we are all safe.”

Other students, like sophomore AJ Dorough, disagree. “I do not feel that UPD patrols that area enough. I see a vehicle every once in a while, but I feel not enough to have an apprehension time of 24 seconds.” He also said he wishes UPD would patrol not only the Village, but the entire campus “a little more often than they usually do.”

For any comments about this story, contact the author at emharless@bsu.edu.