Des Moines, Iowa— The parents of the rural Iowa high school gunman who killed a middle schooler and wounded seven others claimed Monday they had "no inkling he intended the horrible violence" when they left him off.
On Monday, Dylan Butler's parents, Jack and Erin Butler, made a statement through their attorney. The Butlers stated that their son had discussed future goals with them on the drive to school and "it felt like he was ready to get back to school after Christmas vacation and the start of a new semester."
"Dylan’s sister, our daughter, was in the school at the time of the shooting," said. "We simply do not understand how this could happen and why Dylan chose to do what he did."
Dylan Butler, equipped with a pump-action shotgun and a small-caliber pistol, opened fire at Perry High School on Thursday before students resumed following Christmas break, according to authorities and school officials.
Dan Marburger, high school principal, and six others—two staff members and four teens—were injured when Ahmir Jolliff, 11, was slain. Authorities stated Butler shot himself after the shootings.
Butler's parents said they "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."
They stated, "Our family must mourn and bury our son, and live with this terrible legacy." We cannot reciprocate the public and private generosity granted us. We are and will continue to help police figure out why our son did this terrible atrocity."
Mitch Mortvedt, associate director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said early Monday that state detectives will evaluate whether Butler was bullied, as some acquaintances told The Associated Press.