Woman shoots gunman dead after he begins firing rifle at graduation party crowd; detective praises her for saving ‘several lives’

Police in Charleston, West Virginia, are praising a woman who fatally shot a gunman who fired a rifle at dozens of graduation party attendees last week.

What are the details?

Investigators said Dennis Butler was warned Wednesday about speeding near the Vista View Apartment complex with children present before he departed and then returned with an AR-15-style rifle and began firing into the crowd, WCHS-TV reported.

Image source: WOWK-TV video screenshot

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Police said a bystander attending the party quickly pulled out her handgun and shot Butler, WOWK-TV reported.

Officers arriving at the scene around 10:45 p.m. found Butler with multiple gunshot wounds, WOWK reported, adding that he later died. Butler, 37, was from Charleston, the station added.

There were no reports of injuries to those attending the party, WCHS reported.

Police said several witnesses and the person who fired the gun waited for police to arrive and fully cooperated with the investigation, WOWK said.

Officers said Butler had an extensive criminal history, WCHS noted.

What will happen to the woman who killed the gunman?

Tony Hazelett, the police department’s chief of detectives, told WCHS no charges will be filed against the woman who took out the gunman.

“Instead of running from the threat, she engaged with the threat and saved several lives last night,” Hazelett added the station, also saying the woman was “lawfully carrying” her gun and if not for her actions, “we could have had a casualty shooting.”

WCHS did note that the investigation still will be turned over to the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s office for review.

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