Man dies after opening fire at apartment party in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston police say a man who died after firing at party goers at an apartment complex Wednesday night was known to law enforcement.

Tyke Hunt

Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt said Dennis Butler, 37, is a convicted felon and that’s he’s had several run ins with him before.

“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,” Hunt said on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Butler was killed after he pulled an AR-15 style rifle at a group of people attending a birthday/graduation party at the Vista View Apartments located along 1300 Renaissance Circle.

A woman at the party drew a pistol and shot Butler at around 10:45 p.m. No one else was hurt.

Hunt said it’s too early to tell if it was a case of self-defense, but no charges have been filed at this time.

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

Butler was approached earlier in the evening about speeding in the apartment complex while children were playing. Hunt said Butler then left the complex in a vehicle and returned a short time later when the shooting occurred.

“He returned with a firearm, an AR style rifle, and fired in the direction of the crowd,” he said.

It’s unknown if there was intent of where to shoot, Hunt said.

“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.