The son of the Springfield man slain during the Dayton mass shooting says his father died in his arms.
Dion Green, the son of 57-year-old Derrick Fudge, said it’s likely his dad protected him during the deadly mass shooting in at Dayton’s Oregon District Sunday morning.
Fudge was a Springfield resident and one of nine people shot and killed by Connor Betts, 24, of Bellbrook. Betts was killed by Dayton police within a minute of the incident starting.
Connor Betts killed Lois Oglesby, 27; Saeed Saleh, 38; Logan Turner, 30; Nicholas Cumer, 25, Thomas McNichols, 25, Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36 and Monica Brickhouse, 39; and Megan Betts, 22, his sister.
At least 27 others were injured.
The Springfield News-Sun was able to confirm that Brickhouse was also from Springfield. She was living in Dayton at the time of the shooting, according to a background report.
Warren-Curtis was in town visiting Brickhouse, according to their former employer.
Green said he believes Fudge saved his life Sunday morning.
“He must have taken it for me,” Green said. “I just don’t understand. I’m so lost in the situation myself. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.”
Green said he and his father were next to each other. He said after the shooting, he grabbed onto his dad with the hopes of aiding him. Instead, he watched his father die.
“He’s not talking anymore. He’s just looking at me and he just dies in my arms,” Green said. “I don’t care how strong you are. I would have never thought in a million years that I’d be holding my dad in my arms while he’s taking his last breath.”
Green said he’s struggled in the hours following his father’s death. He said he is going to take his grief one day at a time.
Fudge was a loving man, Green said.
“My dad was a great person. Fun, always had a good time, make you laugh and he’ll always be there for you when you need help,” he said.
Green’s girlfriend, Donita Cosey, said she believes Fudge was protecting Green during the shooting, and because of him, they can now continue to raise their daughter together.
“It was just so surreal. Dion should have been shot first, then his dad,” Cosey said. “I feel like Derrick protected his child. He lived 57 years of life and he was still so young. It was meant for him so we can continue to raise our daughter. She will be 11 soon.”
A spokeswoman for Brickhouse’s family told the Springfield News-Sun they did not wish to speak to the public.
“We would like to respect her mother’s wishes and will be following their lead by not speaking and respecting their privacy at this time,” the spokeswoman said.
However, family and friends did take to social media to express how sad they were about her death.
“I am literally numb,” her sister, Kanika Elder said. “All I do know is that my sister isn’t coming back. I have no understanding.”
Friends told the Springfield News-Sun that Brickhouse attended South High School and graduated in 1998. The background report indicates Brickhouse lived in Virginia for several years before moving back to Dayton in June 2018.
According to her Facebook, she ran “Two Good Girls Studios”. The business appears to be a party and event planning company.
Brittany Hart, a friend of Brickhouse, posted on Facebook that she was “in shock” to learn that her friend had been killed. Brickhouse was “like another aunt” to her, Hart wrote.
Hart also wrote on Facebook that she knew Warren-Curtis, 36, who was also killed in the attack. Warren-Curtis was a native of Delaware, but was living in Virginia.
“To lose a loved one to senseless violence is just unfair, especially since it could be preventable!!” Hart wrote on Facebook. “I am so sorry this has happened to you all!”
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