CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – A man was shot and killed in Charleston at around 10:45pm Wednesday night after producing and firing several rounds from a semi-automatic weapon at a crowd of people.
Dennis Butler, 37, opened fire using an AR-15 style rifle into a group of 30-40 people, many high school-aged, who had gathered for a graduation party near the Vista View Apartment complex in Charleston.
A woman – about whom significant information has yet to be revealed – was spurred to action, producing a firearm of her own – a pistol, which is reported to have been lawfully obtained – and killing the shooter before any deaths or injuries could occur.
“Instead of running from the threat, she engaged the threat and saved several lives last night,” said Charleston Police Department Chief of Detectives Tony Hazelett.
It could not be confirmed whether the woman had any background in military or weapons training, though it was confirmed she had no criminal background. Authorities state that she was simply “just a member of the community who was carrying her firearm lawfully.”
It is said that roughly 30 minutes prior to the incident, Butler had been approached about speeding in the area. Agitated, he sped off, but those present “didn’t think anything of it until he returned,” said Hazelett.
Butler is reported to have had no known mental illness issues, but reportedly did have an “extensive criminal history.”
The shooter is said to have retrieved his weapon from the back seat of his vehicle after pulling over. No other weapons were reported to have been found in the vehicle. At this point in the investigation, it remains unclear whether Butler’s firearm had been obtained lawfully.
Hazelett was questioned on any correlations between the incident and the mass school shooting which took place in Texas earlier this week and claimed the lives of 19 children – Lootpress coverage of this incident can be seen here.
“The Texas shooting was tragic. We all have kids we drop off every morning at school, hoping to see them in the afternoon,” Hazelett stated, before reiterating that this was a case of a civilian using a lawfully obtained weapon to prevent a mass casualty.
The woman is said to have cooperated fully with the investigation of the incident, and will not be facing charges.