Merrett and Lois Oglesby were more than just friends.
“We grew up as cousins,” she said. “We grew up in the same church, on the same drill team. She works at my kids’ daycare. We all grew up in this little town. We’re all family. We’re all hurting behind this.”
Oglesby, 27, leaves behind a newborn and an older daughter, Merrett said. She was excited that her friend had just returned from maternity leave.
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“I was like, I’m so happy you’re back at work. Now I don’t have to worry about who has my newborn,” she said. “She loves her kids unconditionally."
She added that her friend was in nursing school and looked forward to a career that would make the most of her love for children.
"She was a wonderful mother, a wonderful person," Merrett said. "I have cried so much, I can’t cry anymore.”
The Oregon District where the shooting broke out is known for its heavy police presence, she said.
“We never, ever would have thought this type of thing would happen right here in our city. A lot of people lot to go down to the Oregon District because they feel safe,” she said. “All of the police that stay down there, they didn’t see that man with an AR-15? Come on.”
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Oglesby died from a gunshot wound in the head, according to Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger.
Dayton police shot and killed the man responsible for the shooting deaths of nine people and the wounding of 37 others. Officers killed the shooting less than one minute after the shooting started, officials said.