Police Arrest Alleged Accomplice Who Bought Gear for Dayton Killer

‘Mr Kollie does not stand accused of intentionally participating in the planning of that shooting…’

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Ethan Kollie / Montgomery County Sheriff

(AFP) A 24-year-old man who purchased body armor and rifle parts for the gunman who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, has been arrested on firearms charges, officials said Monday.

Ethan Kollie was charged with lying about his drug use in order to buy a gun, but was not charged with direct involvement in the Aug. 4 mass shooting in Dayton by his friend Conner Betts, also 24.

“Mr Kollie does not stand accused of intentionally participating in the planning of that shooting,” Benjamin Glassman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said at a press conference. “We have no evidence of that. There’s no allegation of that.”

Glassman said Kollie was charged with making a false statement about his use of illegal drugs in order to buy himself a Draco pistol.

In the criminal complaint against Kollie, FBI agents said he had also admitted buying body armor, a part for an AR-15 rifle and a 100-round magazine for Betts and stored the items at his apartment.

Betts retrieved the items about six to eight weeks ago, the FBI said.

Betts was shot dead by police after killing nine people in downtown Dayton, including his 22-year-old sister, in the early hours of August 4.

The FBI has said that Betts had been exploring “violent ideologies” before staging the attack but declined to provide any details on what they were.

Also noteworthy were the radical far-left tweets on Bett’s Twitter account, which included him expressing his support for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; declaring himself to be a socialist; and alternately referring to himself as both an atheist and a Satanist.

By contrast, an account that appeared to belong to Kollie on Monday was far less political in nature and seemed to reveal a more libertarian bent. While he retweeted a connection expressing support for issues like abortion, gay marriage and anthem kneeling in December 2018, he also appeared to be opposed to gun restrictions.

In one tweet linked to an FBI data table, which showed that handguns were the source of the majority of gun violence, he questioned the purpose of banning AR-15s.