May 30, 2022 – Chaleston, West Virginia
The woman then pulled her legally-owned gun out of her purse and shot and killed him. At a press conference on Thursday, Charleston Chief of Detectives Tony Hazelett praised the woman as a hero. ‘Instead of running from the threat, she engaged with the threat and saved several lives last night,’ he said.
A woman has fatally shot a man who opened fire on a crowd of people with a semi-automatic rifle in Charleston, West Virginia.
Dennis Butler, a 37-year-old with an extensive criminal history, was killed after he targeted a group of around 40 people attending a birthday party.
Police spokesman Tony Hazelett said the woman’s quick reaction saved lives and may have prevented a mass shooting.
The woman was among guests at the outdoor party. When she saw Butler open fire, she immediately pulled out her weapon and shot at him.
It comes amid a national debate over guns after a school shooting in Texas.
Butler had driven by the area earlier on Wednesday evening when he was warned to slow down because children were playing.
He returned armed with an AR-15-type rifle and opened fire from his vehicle on the birthday-graduation party outside the apartment complex in the city.
The gunman Dennis Butler, a 37-year-old criminal who had already been cautioned for speeding near children when he drove to the graduation party that was being held outside at the Vista View Apartment Complex in Charleston, West Virginia.
Mr Hazelett told a news conference that the woman who fired back did not have any law enforcement background. She has not been identified.
“She’s just a member of the community who was carrying her weapon lawfully,” he said. “And instead of running from the threat she engaged with the threat and saved several lives.”
The woman remained at the scene after the shooting, and is co-operating with investigators.
Charges will not be filed against her, police added.
Butler was found dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds, police said.
Mr Hazelett said it is not yet clear how Butler obtained the weapon – which he was not legally allowed to carry as a convicted felon.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: This story has made international news, but has received little attention by the US news media and has not been mentioned by the New York Times, CNN or MSNBC.