WEST VIRGINIA (May 27, 2022) A female attendee of an outdoor party in West Virginia fatally shot a gunman who opened fired into a crowd of guests on Wednesday.
She fatally shot the perpetrator, identified as Dennis Butler, after he began shooting at dozens of people gathered for a birthday/graduation party outside an apartment complex in Charleston, police said in a statement.
“Instead of running from the threat, she engaged with the threat and saved several lives last night,” Chief of detectives Tony Hazelett told news outlets Thursday.
Authorities said Butler had driven around the apartment building earlier in the evening and was told to slow down because children were playing. He left, returned later, parked in front of the complex, and started shooting at people, they said. Hazelett told NBC Washington that no charges will be filed against the woman who intervened.
The woman’s confrontation with the gunman comes amid a politically charged national conversation surrounding mass shootings, two of which shocked the nation this month.
On Tuesday, an 18-year-old entered an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and opened fire in a fourth-grade classroom, killing 19 children and two teachers. Earlier in May, a gunman stormed a supermarket in a black neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y., and started shooting both in the parking lot outside and in the store, killing ten people and wounding three. The Buffalo shooting was believed to be racially motivated. The shooter had published an extensive manifesto online before the rampage announcing his intention to combat the demographic replacement of white Americans.
A bipartisan group of senators is currently negotiating legislation in response to the shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo. The proposals that have been floated include expanded backgrounded checks, funding and resources for enhanced security in schools, and red-flag gun laws, which aim to confiscate firearms from individuals who are deemed dangerous. But the Republicans stopped legislation which would have allowed federal officials to invade in citizens privacy.