The now deceased shooter was a convicted felon who could not legally own a gun

Posted BY: Cullen McCue | National File

Charleston police reported that a man was killed by a woman armed with a handgun after he opened fire on a crowd with an AR-15. The shooter was a convicted felon who could not legally own a firearm.

Dennis Butler, 37, has been identified as the now deceased gunman. He was known to law enforcement and has been convicted of multiple felonies.

“As a young police officer, I was a rookie and had about a year on, one of the most knocked-down dragged out fights was with Mr. Butler and he had a firearm on him at that time in 2006,” Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt told MetroNews on Thursday.

Butler was shot and killed after firing at a group of people attending a birthday/graduation party at an apartment complex in West Virginia’s capital on Wednesday night. The gunman was then reportedly shot and killed by a woman who was licensed to carry.

“It looks like the person who fired upon Mr. Butler does not have any reason to prohibit them from carrying a firearm lawfully,” Hunt said.

“She is 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,” another Charleston Police Department spokesman said. “I credit her for being vigilant. Watching him get out, engaging the threat, and stopping it.”

Butler was approached by law enforcement earlier in the evening after speeding through an apartment complex where children were playing. He was not detained and soon left the apartment complex in a vehicle only to return with a rifle not long after leaving.

“He returned with a firearm, an AR style rifle, and fired in the direction of the crowd,” Hunt said. The Charleston Police Chief added that it is unknown whether he intended to fire on the crowd or a specific person.

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“We are still investigating the direction of the firearm and where the rounds went, all the trajectory, and pulling video from that,” he said.

The investigation has been turned over to the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office for review, MetroNews reported.