Tragedy struck the small rural community of Perry, Iowa on Thursday morning when a sixth-grade student was killed and five others were injured in a shooting at Perry High School. The suspect, identified as a 17-year-old student at the school, was later confirmed dead. The incident occurred on the first day back to school after the holiday break, adding to the shock and devastation felt by the community.
The shooter, identified as Dylan Butler, was armed with a shotgun and a handgun when he opened fire at the school before the start of classes. It was determined that he had died from an apparent gunshot wound that was self-inflicted. Prior to the shooting, Butler had posted a TikTok video in which he posed in what appeared to be the school bathroom with the caption, “Now we wait.” This disturbing glimpse into his mindset before the attack adds another layer of complexity to the tragic event.
Law enforcement officials are currently investigating the incident, including an image believed to be of Butler posted on TikTok from inside the school bathroom on the morning of the shooting. The photo was captioned “now we wait” and accompanied by the song “Stray Bullet” by the German band KMFDM. Authorities are working to understand the motive behind the attack and any potential warning signs that may have been missed.
Fortunately, the shooting occurred before the school day had officially started, resulting in fewer students and faculty being present in the building. Dallas County Sheriff Adam Infante noted that this likely contributed to a better outcome, as fewer people were in harm's way. Nevertheless, the tragedy has deeply affected the entire community, leaving them grappling with grief and searching for answers.
Following the shooting, Perry Middle and High Schools were closed for the remainder of the day. Students from the middle school were moved to a reunification location for their parents to pick them up, while elementary students and those in daycare were directed to the McCreary Center in Perry as a pickup location. The swift response and coordination of law enforcement and school officials ensured the safety of the remaining students and facilitated a smooth transition during a chaotic and emotional time.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds expressed her condolences and solidarity with the community, acknowledging that the senseless tragedy had shaken the entire state to its core. She promised that every effort would be made to find answers and prevent such an incident from happening again. The governor's words reflect the shared sentiment of grief and determination felt by the people of Perry and the larger Iowa community.
In a chilling development, law enforcement officers also discovered an improvised explosive device while searching the school. The state Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were called in to safely render the device harmless. The presence of the explosive device raises further questions about the shooter's intentions and the extent of the planned attack.
As the investigation continues, the community of Perry mourns the loss of a young life and supports those who were injured in the incident. The tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing issue of school shootings in the United States and the urgent need for effective measures to prevent such acts of violence. The Perry community, like many others before them, now faces the difficult task of healing, rebuilding, and ensuring the safety and well-being of their students.
0. “At least 1 dead in shooting at Iowa high school: Officials” Good Morning America, 4 Jan. 2024, https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/US/story/shooting-reported-perry-high-school-iowa-106099810
1. “Sixth-Grade Student Killed, Five Others Injured in Iowa School Shooting” The Wall Street Journal, 4 Jan. 2024, https://www.wsj.com/us-news/sixth-grade-student-killed-five-others-injured-in-iowa-school-shooting-d290f036
2. “Shooting at Perry High School in Iowa kills sixth-grader, injures 5 others” MSNBC, 4 Jan. 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/top-stories/latest/perry-high-school-shooting-iowa-rcna132272
3. “A Shooting Has Occurred at Perry Schools” Raccoon Valley Radio, 4 Jan. 2024, https://www.raccoonvalleyradio.com/2024/01/04/possibly-incident-at-perry-schools/
4. “1 victim dead, 5 injured after Iowa school shooting” The Hill, 4 Jan. 2024, https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/4389691-one-victim-dead-five-injured-iowa-school-shooting/