(ReliableNews.org) – America experienced its first school shooting of 2024 less than a week into the new year. A teenager walked into an Iowa school and opened fire. The family of one student is now mourning his life.
On January 4, 11-year-old Ahmir Jolliff left his Perry, Iowa, home and headed off to school. His family told The Associated Press he was known as “Smiley” at home because he was always happy. The sixth grader attended the middle school connected to Perry High School. On that morning, the first day back for students, Jolliff was in the cafeteria at the high school when 17-year-old Dylan Butler entered the school.
Butler opened fire on the cafeteria. Jolliff, who was so excited for school that day, was shot three times and killed. Perry High School Principal Dan Marburger, two staff members, and four students were injured in the shooting. The injuries ranged from minor to critical. Marburger, who has been principal of the school since 1995, was shot while trying to distract Butler. The suspected shooter killed himself after the attack on the school.
Superintendent Clark Wicks called Marburger a “hero” and said his intervention allowed some kids to escape. Adam Jessen, the assistant principal of the middle school, carried one of the injured students to a safe area. Bobbi Bushbaum said her son, Corey, was shot multiple times but escaped to a nearby field. She arrived at the school and saw people helping him into an ambulance. “I would like them to know my son wouldn’t be here without them,” the mother said.
According to police, Butler had a small-caliber handgun and a pump-action shotgun. Mitch Mortvedt, the spokesman for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said the teenager also had an improvised explosive device in his belongings, but police were able to render it safe.
People who knew Butler told reporters that he’d been the victim of bullying for years. Wicks wouldn’t comment on the claims. However, Jolliff’s mom, Erica Jolliff, told The AP that she was horrified to hear that Butler was bullied. She sent her condolences to his family, saying they were “truly sorry for his loss as well.”
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