An armed Virginia woman fatally shot a gunman as he opened fire on partygoers in Charleston.
According to news reports, Charleston police said the brave woman unleashed her pistol, then shot and killed Dennis Butler as he opened fire into a crowd of people at a local graduation and birthday party with his AR-15-style rifle. Attendees initially asked him to slow down as he was speeding through a parking lot inside the Vista View apartments while children played outside.
Witnesses said Butler eventually left but returned with his gun, parked in front of Vista View and began shooting. That is when the unnamed woman stepped in and fired at him. Police pronounced him dead at the scene.
“This lady was carrying a lawful firearm,” Charleston Chief of Detectives Tony Hazelett said at a press conference on May 26. “A law-abiding citizen who stopped the threat of probably 20 or 30 people getting killed. She engaged the threat and stopped it. She didn’t run from the threat. She engaged it. Preventing a mass casualty event here in Charleston.”
He added that the Virginia woman was “a member of the community” and applauded her for saving lives through her act of heroism.
“She’s just a member of the community who was carrying her firearm lawfully, and instead of running from the threat, she engaged with the threat and saved several lives last night.”
Thankfully, no one was hurt during the unfortunate incident, and no charges will be filed against her.
Authorities said the 37-year-old gunman had an extensive criminal history, including being convicted of two felonies, so he shouldn’t have possessed a weapon.
In 2016, Butler was reportedly accused of pistol-whipping and shooting a 19-year-old woman, but the charges were dismissed since no witnesses testified at a pretrial hearing.