Survivor of Dayton’s Mass Shooting shares his escape


Aug. 4, 2019 – In what seemed to be the perfect summer night out with friends, drinking and dancing to Hip Hop, Kevin Cothran, 27 shares what his experience was like escaping Dayton Oregon District’s most horrific night.

“My friend went to the bathroom to talk to his girl. He was gone for about 20-minutes so I went inside to look for him,” Cothran recounts.

It was a packed house inside Ned Peppers, Dayton’s most popular Hip Hop nightclub, on Saturday night. From the front to the enclosed back patio, people were drunk and happy, dancing to their favorite songs.

At 1:05 A.M. gunshots went off and the hundreds inside rushed for the door, trampling over one another.

–> Kevin Cothran remembers the seconds following the first few shots that had him fearing for his life <– click to hear audio.

“As soon as I called his name I heard, POP POP POP POP POP, so I just got low and everybody started rushing back toward the patio. And I got trampled. I was trying to stay on my feet, if I would’ve fell on my back it would’ve been over so I twisted my body and got up.”

Victim’s both dead and injured were fallen to the ground on the dance floor. Luckily for this survivor escaping through the back was still possible.

Cothran’s pants caught onto the fence as he jumped it and he was run over once again.

“But people started trampling over the back fences, and I tried to hop over the fence. I got clipped and was getting stepped on for like 15 seconds then I got back up. I lost my shoe too. Man, I lost my jordans.”

Cothran made it out of the bar that night, shook and shoeless but was still in search of the friend he came with. Kevin ran to the front and found him alive and unharmed, they immediately jumped in their car and took off.

The photos on Instagram and Snapchat from witnesses that were there are horrific. Not posting to respect the individuals and their families.

How you can help

Though Kevin Cothran and many others made it to safety, that was not the case for some. The city of Dayton has created a donation fund to help the victim’s and their families.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley announced that The Dayton Foundation has set up a tax-deductible fund. Those interested in donating can send any dollar amount to The Dayton Foundation: Oregon District Tragedy Fund.



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