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Tragedy Strikes Again: Perry High School Shooting

Tragedy Strikes Again: Perry High School Shooting
Perrone, Sara

Almost four days into the new year, the children of Perry High School in Iowa were excited to dig into their breakfasts for the morning. What they weren’t expecting was to be greeted with the sound of gunshots instead of the chime of a school bell. At around 7:37 a.m., police were alerted to an active shooter who was armed with a pump-action shotgun and a small-caliber handgun. 

Before the incident, 17-year-old Dylan Butler released a TikTok video of himself positioned inside of a school bathroom with a blue duffle bag, the words below the post reading: “Now we wait.” Accompanying the contents of the video was the song titled “Stray Bullet.” This wasn’t the only post Butler created. According to Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Investigation, “[Butler] made a number of social media posts in and around the time of the shooting…”

Butler’s parents were astonished by how their son could commit such a merciless act. “We would never wish the harm and pain that Dylan’s actions caused on anyone and we could not have imagined that Dylan would carry out such a heinous act. Our family has to mourn and bury our son, and live with this terrible legacy,” Butler’s parents told CNN. It was also revealed that Dylan’s sister was in school during the time of the shooting.

The motive of the act, which killed a 6th grader and wounded several others, still seemed obscure. Two of Butler’s friends described that he had been bullied since his elementary days. “He got tired, he got tired of the bullying, he got tired of the harassment,” one of the friends told ABC News.

Dan Marburger, the principal of Perry High School, used himself as a distraction to allow the kids a chance to escape. His daughter, Claire, took to social media and wrote, “As I heard of a gunman, I instantly had a feeling my Dad would be a victim as he would put himself in harm’s way for the benefit of the kids and his staff…It is absolutely zero surprise to hear he tried to approach and talk Dylan down and distract him long enough for some students to get out of the cafeteria.” After over 150 officers from all branches–federal to state–searched the building, and apprehended the shooter–who had died as a result of a self-inflicted gun wound–Principal Marburger was found wounded and taken to the hospital. He was pronounced dead 10 days later on January 14th.

The residents of Perry are saddened by the incident and have received condolences from places far outside of the state. They made sure to commemorate those who had been affected by the tragedy in one of the local parks the night of the incident, holding candles and giving speeches full of sympathy and integration.


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About the Contributor
Sierra Latchman
Sierra Latchman, Student Writer
Meet Sierra. She is a sophomore this year and is excited to spend her first year writing for The Gull. She enjoys writing about the news, specifically criminal cases, and pop culture. Sometimes when she's bored, she binges true crime documentaries on Netflix. Despite her eerie interests, she loves to bake, read, travel, and listen to music. Ultimately, she’s elated to be a part of The Gull and hopes to create informative articles for everyone to read and learn from.

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    Danyell EvansJan 30, 2024 at 9:20 pm

    There really needs to have something done when it comes to the severe bullying in schools!!! But, it also starts with parents and families ending the bullying children do unto others, and then the schools!!