Acacia Strain frontman says reports that Dayton shooter wore metalcore band's hoodie are 'making me sick'

Vincent Bennett of the Acacia Strain, right, pictured in 2011, addressed reports linking the Dayton mass shooting to his band. (Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

A Massachusetts metalcore band has responded to reports that the 24-year-old man behind Sunday morning’s mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio was wearing one of its hoodies when he opened fire on a nightclub, killing nine people.

The reports stem from unverified, graphic photos purporting to show the shooter’s dead body after he was fatally shot by local police, as well as a tweet from broadcast journalist Jim Heath.

According to Heath, the shooters’s sweatshirt featured lyrics from the Acacia Strain’s song “Ramirez,” which he called “hateful and vengeful.” (Stereogum has refuted that claim as “sensationalistic,” describing the song as being “written from a place of anger and depression.”)

“No heart to fear, no soul to steal,” the sweatshirt reportedly read on the back.

Vincent Bennett, frontman for the Acacia Strain, went on Twitter to tell fans that the shooter’s alleged support of his band made him “sick,” adding “I’m f***ing shaking.”

He also took pains to distance the band from the violence on display in Dayton, writing, “anyone who knows anything knows we don’t condone this behavior.” Bennett went on to offer support to those impacted by the shooting, and later retweeted a GoFundMe page for a woman who was shot in the leg during the attack.

Bennett also shut down a since-deleted tweet accusing him of spreading a “death message.”

He is now pushing back against accusations of promoting violence through music by sharing positive messages and retweeting upbeat photos from Acacia Strain performances.

Meanwhile, Heath’s tweet prompted metal fans to accuse him of trying to link the music to violent behavior.

“Are you seriously blaming a song for his actions?” read one reaction. “I’ve listened to metal since I was a kid and never once have I ever thought of hurting someone.”

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