The Black friend of the mass shooter from Dayton, Ohio, faces up to 15 years in prison for helping the gunman acquire the equipment he later used to kill 9 people and injure dozens of others on Aug. 4.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s affidavit obtained by CNN and ABC News, Ethan Kollie helped the White shooter, identified as Connor Betts, obtain the body armor and 100-round double drum magazine earlier this year.
Kollie, 24, a conservative, pro-gun supporter, claimed through his legal counsel that he had no idea when he purchased the items for Betts that he would use it to slaughter bar patrons in the downtown club district in Dayton, located about halfway between Columbus and Cincinnati in southwest Ohio.
Betts also killed his own sister and a Black friend during the bloodbath.
“Kollie indicated that he purchased these items for Betts — and stored them in Kollie’s apartment — to assist Betts in hiding them from Betts’ parents,” according to the affidavit.
The affidavit provides a timeline of Kollie’s alleged unwitting assistance to Betts. Ten weeks ago, Kollie helped Betts assemble the AR-15 rifle he used in the attacks. And then, about two months ago, Betts picked up the assembled rifle, magazine and body armor from Kollie’s apartment.
Federal agents from the FBI and ATF searched Kollie’s apartment just hours after the mass shooting, CNN states, and found various illegal drugs and paraphernalia such as mushrooms and marijuana. They also found a special .38 caliber revolver that Kollie reportedly obtained illegally because he lied on his ATF gun application when he said he did not do drugs.
Turns out, Kollie admitted to federal investigators that he and Betts consumed hard drugs such as LSD as well as marijuana several times a week dating back to 2014-15.
Kollie maintained that he had no idea that Betts would use the gun equipment to commit mass murder.
“He does not deny his friendship with Connor Betts and he was as shocked and surprised as everyone else that Mr. Betts committed the violent and senseless massacre in the Oregon District,” Nick Gounaris, the attorney, said according to CNN.
As it stands, Kollie faces charges of possession of a firearm by someone who illegally uses or is addicted to a controlled substance, and making false statements with respect to information required by the federal firearms code.