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Iowa school shooting: 17-year-old kills sixth-grader, injures 5

January 5, 2024

On the first day back from winter break, a 17-year-old student opened fire at Perry High School in Iowa, killing a sixth-grader and injuring five others. The suspect, identified as Dylan Butler, later died from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities found a pump-action shotgun, a small-caliber handgun, and an improvised explosive device at the scene.

The motive is under investigation, with authorities examining social media posts made by the shooter around the time of the incident. Friends and family reported that Butler had been a target of relentless bullying for years, escalating recently when his younger sister also became a target. Allegedly, school officials failed to intervene, leading to heightened frustration for Butler.

Witnesses described scenes of panic as students barricaded themselves in offices and classrooms during the shooting. Perry High School Principal Dan Marburger was among those injured. Three victims were in critical condition, while others were stable.

Residents gathered for a vigil, and the high school announced its closure with counseling services available. Governor Kim Reynolds ordered flags at half-staff, and President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland were briefed on the situation.

In the aftermath, calls for stricter gun laws were renewed, but such proposals have faced resistance, particularly in states like Iowa. The state currently does not require a permit for handgun purchase or carry, although a background check is mandated for handgun buyers without a permit.

The incident occurred against the backdrop of Iowa’s presidential caucuses, with GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy canceling a campaign event to address the community. The tragedy has prompted discussions about the country’s “psychological sickness” and ignited debates over gun violence at both local and national levels.

Source: PTI

Also read: United States: Guns on campus controversy

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