Man witnesses father’s death in Dayton shooting

National & World

DAYTON, Oh. (AP) – Dion Green was ready for some fun with his family after being so busy in the 10 weeks since his home was slammed by one of the tornadoes that devastated the region.

He was ready to relax, “enjoy and take a breath.”

It was his brother-in-law’s birthday, so Green gathered him, his sister and fiancée for a Saturday night on the town. And he really wanted to spend some time with his father, Derrick Fudge.

Within hours, Fudge would be in his arms, his eyes looking into his son’s as he took his final breath.

“It could have been me because we were literally shoulder to shoulder. He always said he’d die for me, but we hear that from all our families – from our fathers, mothers. Yeah, I’m his son, I’m supposed to. I’d do that for my daughter. But who knows that this would really take into effect and I’d really have to watch my father die for me in my arms?”

Green, who is 37, and a father of a 10-year-old daughter, is still reeling as he replays the scenes in his mind. He saw a man wearing a mask, and then heard gunshots. He saw his father go down, but pleaded with him to get up, to get moving.

But his father never got up.

Then he saw blood coming from the back of Fudge’s head.

“He just stopped moving so I just, I’m just telling him ‘I love you, come on, dad, get up we’ve got to get out of here.’ But he never got up with me, so I just laid on top of him and just hugged him. Just kept telling him ‘I love you.’ You know what I mean?”

Green says a kind man, a wonderful father, has been lost.

And like so many other people affected by deadly mass shootings, he wonders why.

“If (the shooter) has a problem and it’s documented, then it should have been taken care of, you know? Seek help. It starts at home first.”

He also noted that the AR-15 type gun Betts wielded was “not just any old gun.” It was a weapon well-suited for a killing spree.

Green, meanwhile, wasn’t physically hurt, but he is in pain; in his heart, soul and mind.

He also noted that the AR-15 type gun Betts wielded was “not just any old gun.” It was a weapon well-suited for a killing spree.
Green, meanwhile, wasn’t physically hurt, but he is in pain; in his heart, soul and mind.

“This is something I’ve got to live with every day. Every time I close my eyes, I just get his eyes looking at me.”

Fudge, 57, was the oldest of the nine people killed in volleys of gunfire from Connor Betts, a 24-year-old resident of suburban Dayton whose shooting rampage with an assault-style rifle just after 1 a.m. EDT Sunday in the city’s Oregon entertainment district also injured at least 37 other people. Four remained hospitalized Wednesday.

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(This story was originally published on August 7, 2019)

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