My story is from the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on August 4, 2019.
My 25-year-old daughter was in the panic from the shooting, as she was in the bar called the “Hole in the Wall,” which is next door to “Ned Peppers.” Shortly after 1:00 a.m., my daughter experienced a stampede of people running from Fifth Street into the Hole in the Wall, and toward the bar’s back exit, yelling “There’s a shooter!” She thought the shooter was chasing them, so she hid in the bar’s bathroom, lying on the floor with about 15 other people with their feet up against the door in case the shooter would try to enter the bathroom. While hiding, my daughter could hear the gunshots and thought the shooter had entered the bar, as the noise from the shots was so loud. After it was over and the police told them they could come out of the bathroom, my daughter located her friends in the parking lot at the back of the bars (if you have seen the picture of all the shoes in the parking lot – this is at the back of the bars). She and her friend ran north away from Fifth Street a few blocks, where they hid behind a concrete wall and called her stepsister, who picked her up. She said she has never experienced that much fear.
One of the murder victims was our next-door neighbor when my children were young. He was one year older than my oldest child (about 8 years old when we moved in), and he used to come over and play with my kids all the time. He was such a sweet boy. He helped me take care of my littlest one by playing with her and taking her for stroller rides. He was like one of my children, he was at our house so much.
I’m angry at the senseless loss of this good young man.