The Acacia Strain respond to Dayton, Ohio shooter wearing band’s merch

Posted by on August 5, 2019

Waking up on Sunday morning (4th), wasn’t easy as many of us woke up hearing the news of not one, but two mass shootings. While we are all shaken up, many of us must be experiencing a different set of emotions knowing that at least 29 lives were lost between the shootings that took place in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Instead of looking to find ways to implement strict gun laws, it didn’t take long for music or video games to be blamed for what happened.

Shortly after 1 AM on Sunday, a 24-year-old gunman, identified as Connor Betts opened fire, killing his sister and eight other people in downtown Dayton, Ohio. The shooter was killed by police within thirty seconds of opening fire. An image of the deceased shooter has been floating on social media as the photo suggests he was wearing a hoodie from The Acacia Strain. Broadcast journalist, Jim Heath, reported the shooter’s attire, which led many assume he was suggesting the band were somehow responsible.

Heath Tweeted:

“Suspect in #Dayton shooting was wearing shorts with a black sweatshirt that read: “No heart to fear, no soul to steal.”

The slogan is believed to be from a hateful and vengeful song called Ramirez by The Acacia Strain, a metalcore band.”


Later, Heath explained he only described what the Dayton shooter was wearing and it had nothing to do with placing blame on music:

“For the record, I pointed out what the alleged shooter in Dayton was wearing. That’s all. The suggestion that I believe music is what caused him to kill is ridiculous & not true.”


“In a breaking news story we try to put all facts on the table. If he had worn a Dolly Parton sweatshirt I would have reported that too. No one ever suggested music is the reason behind the shootings.”

The Acacia Strain frontman Vincent Bennett went to Twitter to condemn the Dayton shooter as well as expressing how music is a positive outlet to negative emotions:

“Please be good to one another. Hold on to your loved ones and never let them go. Surround yourselves with people who make you happy, and strive to be the person that makes everyone smile.”


““My death message”? Sharon, I’ve spent the last several tours – including the one this hoodie was available at – speaking about striving to be a better person. Speaking about positivity and finding someone to talk to; instead of violent actions. Don’t tell me what my message is. “

“Music is an outlet. Music should purify. Use art as a positive outlet to your negative emotions. If you feel angry – turn to music, turn to creation. This has to stop.”


“We will be taking action to help the families of the victims however we can.”


“What happened in Dayton is horrifying. Even more so to know that the shooter was wearing a TAS hoodie is making me sick. There is no excuse for this. Anyone who knows anything knows we don’t condone this behavior. No one has the right to take another’s life.”

Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor responded to Heath’s initial Tweet, stating:

“No. You don’t get to fucking do that. This isn’t about a fucking t shirt. And the Acacia Strain are not a hateful or vengeful band. Blame the KILLER; not the fucking WARDROBE. You Ghoul.”


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