Charleston, WV — Within just 24 hours, two potential mass shootings unfolded — one at a school in Uvalde, Texas and another in Charleston, West Virginia. Only one of the incidents had police involved and had the shooter surrounded. Unfortunately, this was the most tragic and deadliest one at Robb Elementary.
In Charleston, however, another potential mass shooting unfolded hours later in which the shooter — armed with an AR-15 — targeted children at a graduation party outside of an apartment complex. Unlike Robb Elementary, the apartment complex hadn't been "hardened" and police hadn't trained two months earlier on how to deal with a mass shooter.
Also, unlike Robb Elementary, there were no school resource officers on the scene to protect the children. Fortunately, however, also unlike Robb Elementary, private individuals aren't banned from carrying guns. This is why the only person to be killed as the Charleston mass shooting unfolded — was the shooter, 37-year-old Dennis Butler.
According to police, Butler had sped through the area earlier that day and parents of the children at the party told him to slow down. This apparently caused Butler to snap and he left only to return later with an AR-15 — which he acquired illegally — and began firing on the crowd of children and parents.
"Butler then left the complex, but later returned, parked in front of the 1300 Renaissance Circle complex and pulled an AR 15-style rifle," said police. "Butler fired his weapon at people attending a graduation party."
Because West Virginia is a permitless carry state, open carry and concealed carry are both legal for all U.S. citizens. One must be 18-years-old to open carry while one must be 21 or older to conceal carry. Those under 21 can still conceal carry but must apply for a Provisional Concealed Handgun License.
Luckily, a woman at the party was carrying and when Butler began firing into a crowd of children and parents, she pulled out her pistol and ended the threat, killing the would-be mass shooter before anyone was harmed.
“Instead of running from the threat, she engaged with the threat and saved several lives last night,” Charleston Police Department Chief of Detectives Tony Hazelett said.
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According to police, Butler had an extensive criminal record but they did not go into detail. Chief Hazelett told reporters Thursday night that no charges will be filed against the woman who killed Butler.
She should be celebrated in her community instead.
Not surprisingly, this story is conveniently absent from the corporate media outlets who are running stories stoking fear about guns and calling for more gun control.
According to the FBI, good guys with guns—who are not police officers—have stopped multiple mass killings, and they do so routinely. According to the FBI report, citizens successfully intervened in 6 active shooter events in 2020 and 2021.
In one incident, according to the FBI, seven employees exchanged multiple volleys of gunfire with the shooter, four of them during the final encounter resulting in the death of the shooter. This incident unfolded at Jefferson Gun Outlet, Metairie, LA.
In another, a teacher disarmed and detained a student who began a mass shooting at Rigby Middle School in Idaho.
As the report notes, citizens “successfully” ended the shooting by confronting the shooter—not police.
“Their selfless actions likely saved many lives,” the report stated.
Indeed, as society will come to eventually learn, the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.