Dylan Butler told online friends he was ‘gearing up’ before Iowa school shooting

Iowa school shooter Dylan Butler told his online audience that he was “f—king nervous” and “gearing up” moments before opening fire inside Perry High School last week. The 17-year-old was possibly active on the online chat platform Discord minutes before the attack. 

Vehicles are seen in a parking lot outside of Perry High School following a shooting Thursday at the school, Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, in Perry, Iowa (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)(AP)
Vehicles are seen in a parking lot outside of Perry High School following a shooting Thursday at the school, Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, in Perry, Iowa (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)(AP)

One student was killed and five others were injured after Butler opened fire on Thursday morning, January 4. The suspect, a student at the high school, then turned the gun on himself. The sixth grader who died was identified as Ahmir Jolliff, 11.

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What did Dylan Butler post on Discord?

Investigators are now reviewing various social media accounts of Butler, including Discord. NBC reported that screenshots it reviewed revealed that he used his account to tell his online friends he was at the school and ready “for what’s to come.”

Ten minutes later, Butler wrote, “I’m f—cking nervous, I’m the bathroom gearing up.” Shortly after that, he wrote, “There’s an ‘n-word’ in the bathroom, I need him to leave so I can assemble my guns.”

According to a Discord spokesperson, the company believes that the account from which these were posted, named took2much, belonged to Butler. “Our deepest sympathies are with the victims, their families, and the community in Perry, Iowa following yesterday’s horrific shooting,”  the spokesperson said. “Discord has a zero-tolerance policy against content that glorifies violence and violent extremism, which is reflected in our Community Guidelines.”

“We took immediate action against the suspect and his content, and are currently cooperating with law enforcement to assist them in their continuing investigation,” the person added. 

A Discord said that the account ‘took2much’ was also part of a chatroom that discussed school shootings, titled ‘School Massacres Discussion.’

Dylan Butler’s other cryptic posts

Butler was carrying a pump-action shotgun and a small-calibre handgun. A “rudimentary” explosive device too was found in the school. Butler reportedly had plans to murder many others, but the shooting took place before the school day had started, and therefore there were not many students and staff in the building.

Butler, before the shooting, shared a TikTok of himself in what seemed like the school bathroom stall. “now we wait,” it was captioned. In the background, the song Stray Bullet by KMFDM played. The song has lyrics like “I’m your nightmare coming true, I am your worst enemy,” and “Stray bullet, from the barrel of love.” The song was also used on thepersonal website of Eric Harris, one of the shooters involved in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

There were more videos from the account posted to Reddit, one of which showed Butler emulating The Cook from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as well as notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. He was seen repeating lines and mannerisms from the shows.

Clips also showed Butler pointing a stick at a friend, pretending as though it was a gun. Photos of Butler gathered by investigators also reportedly showed him posing with firearms. It is unclear if the guns Butler used in the shooting belonged to him.

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