Friend of gunman in OH mass shooting faces federal gun charges: prosecutors

Erika Holt
August 13, 2019

The charge comes just over a week after the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, where Betts opened fire in a popular entertainment district, killing his sister and eight others.

Just after 1 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4, Connor Betts approached a packed crowd in front of Ned Peppers bar and unloaded about 40 rounds in just 32 seconds.

24-year-old Ethan Kollie, a friend of suspected Dayton mass shooter Connor Betts, is accused of lying on federal firearms forms, according to a news release.

Kollie and Betts allegedly assembled the AR-15 in Kollie's apartment 10 weeks ago, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman.

Glassman said that authorities, in the course of investigating the shooting, learned that Kollie used illegal drugs and lied about his drug use on a form when he bought a firearm.

The accusations came as prosecutors unsealed charges against Kollie that they said were unrelated to the August 4 shooting in Dayton, Ohio. Kollie bought the drum 6-8 weeks ago and that's when Betts then took possession of all three components.

During that interview, Kollie allegedly told agents that he likes guns and now owns a handgun and a micro Draco pistol.

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A charging document obtained by The Associated Press Monday says Ethan Kollie "indicated he purchased body armor and a firearm accessory for Betts earlier this year".

In a follow-up interview last week, Mr. Kollie admitted to agents that he and Betts did "hard drugs", acid and marijuana four or five times a week in 2014 and 2015, and Mr. Kollie said he himself smoked marijuana daily since he was 14.

The affidavit says that Kollie also told agents he uses psychedelic mushrooms, which he grows in his residence, and "micro-doses" on a constant basis, stating it gives him energy and is "fun".

A search warrant was executed at Kollie's home, turning up several weapons, marijuana, and mushrooms.

According to the criminal complaint, Kollie stored the items in his apartment "to assist [the gunman] in hiding them from [the gunman's] parents".

Kollie is facing up to 15 years in prison.

Making a false statement regarding firearms carries a potential maximum sentence of up to five years' imprisonment.

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