Man Confronted for Speeding Opens Fire on Party, Woman Shoots Him Dead

A driver who became embroiled in a dispute with partygoers after they accused him of speeding, sprayed bullets into the crowd—but was shot to death by one of the revelers.

The shootout happened at around 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday night (May 25) at an apartment complex on Renaissance Circle in Charleston, West Virginia.

Charleston Police Department say several people had confronted Dennis Butler, 37, over claims he had driven dangerously through the area while children were playing outside, according to local news channel WSAZ. The police report, seen by WSAZ, says Butler left the area but then returned shortly afterwards with an AR 15-style rifle and started shooting at the group.

A woman who was attending the joint-birthday and graduation party drew a pistol to return fire and fatally injured Butler, who was shot multiple times, the report said.

police tape on street
Officers investigate a crime scene in Harlem, New York in this stock image. A man fired a rifle at party guests in Charleston, West Virginia on Wednesday night, sparking a shootout that ended in his own death, police said. Getty Images

Chief of Detectives Tony Hazelett said: "Instead of running from the threat, she engaged with the threat and saved several lives last night."

He added no charges would be filed against the woman, who has not been named.

Newsweek has reached out to Charleston Police Department.

The incident comes after a bloody couple of weeks, with two mass shootings that have pushed gun control laws back into the spotlight. Some 10 people were shot and killed at Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on May 14, then on Tuesday (May 24), 19 children and two teachers were murdered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

The party shootout in Charleston echoes another incident that saw a birthday end in tragedy four days earlier. Gunmen opened fire at an event in Ohio, killing 19-year-old Amerah Ann Green in the city of Campbell.

The total number of gun violence deaths in the U.S. so far in 2022 stands at 17,428, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a national database. Of those deaths, 7,726 were due to homicide, murder, unintentional or defensive gun use, while the rest were suicides.

A new poll, taken in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, found that 65 percent of voters now support tougher gun laws. The figure has risen 5 percentage points in just nine days, with the increase driven by independents and Republicans shifting their stance.

The survey was conducted by business intelligence group Morning Consult and media organization Politico on May 25, the day after the massacre at Robb Elementary School. Public support for restrictions typically surges after mass shootings, but the latest survey also suggested that it has never been higher among independent voters.