Dylan Butler: Iowa School Shooter Posted Cryptic Photo from School Bathroom on TikTok Before Shooting that Featured Song 'Stray Bullet'

The photo shows him in a bathroom stall with a blue duffle bag at his feet, accompanied by the caption of the song "now we wait."

Dylan Butler, the student identified as the Perry High School shooter, posted a photo of himself on TikTok shortly before police say he shot multiple people and then turned the gun on himself. Butler, 17, from Perry, attended the high school where the shooting took place around 20 minutes before school was set to start on the first day back after the winter break.

Police reported that Butler shot six people, killing one sixth-grader and injuring five others, including the school principal. Butler faced years of bullying, with the situation intensifying recently as it targeted his sister in the leadup to the violent rampage, according to members of the community.

Posted Photo Before Rampage

Dylan Butler
Dylan Butler posted this cryptic photo that shows him in a bathroom stall with a blue duffle bag at his feet, accompanied by the caption of the song "now we wait" before the shooting X

Before the shooting took place, Butler had shared a selfie on TikTok. The photo shows him in a bathroom stall with a blue duffle bag at his feet, accompanied by the caption of the song "now we wait."

The TikTok post, now taken down along with Butler's social media accounts, featured the song "Stray Bullet". The song, by the German rock band KMFDM, features lyrics like "I'm your nightmare coming true, I am your worst enemy," and "Stray bullet, from the barrel of love".

Dylan Butler
Dylan Butler X

This song had gained notoriety as it was previously used on the personal website of Eric Harris, one of the shooters of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.

Butler had amassed over 250 followers before his account was closed down.

Butler was armed with a pump-action shotgun and a handgun, which are illegal for a 17-year-old to obtain in Iowa.

Butler had plans to kill many more, as evidenced by the discovery of his body along with the undetonated improvised explosive device, described by law enforcement as "fairly basic." The device was subsequently rendered safe by fire marshals.

The 17-year-old died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound before first responders reached the school, shortly after 7:40 a.m. The incident prompted the evacuation of 1,785 students on their first day back to classes after the winter break.

The teenager is believed to have carried out the act independently. Authorities have not yet revealed a potential motive behind the incident.

Subject to Relentless Bullying Over for Years

Butler is the son of Jack Butler, the manager of the Perry Municipal Airport and a former public works director for the city of Perry. Calls made to the suspect's parents, Jack and Erin Butler, were not immediately returned on Thursday.

Dylan Butler
Dylan Butler X

Butler made numerous social media posts "in and around the time of the shooting," Assistant Director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Mitch Mortvedt said. Investigators are examining those posts as part of the ongoing investigation, stated the authorities.

Other videos from the same account, shared on Reddit, show Butler imitating characters such as The Cook from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and Jeffrey Dahmer, replicating popular mannerisms and lines from the respective shows.

In one clip, he points a stick at a friend as if it were a gun, and in several others, he references being a "stoner."

Dylan Butler
Dylan Butler's now-deleted TikTok account X

Investigators have also discovered other photos posted by Butler featuring him posing with firearms, according to insiders who spoke to the Associated Press.

However, it remains unclear whether the firearms used in the rampage belonged to Butler.

A family that knew Butler described him as a reserved person who had suffered bullying since elementary school.

Yesenia Roeder and Khamya Hall, both 17, along with their mother, Alita, shared with the Associated Press that Butler reached a breaking point when his younger sister became a target of bullying as well.

The family mentioned that school officials never intervened, a situation they considered to be "the last straw" for Butler.

"He was hurting. He got tired. He got tired of the bullying. He got tired of the harassment," Yesenia said.

"Was it a smart idea to shoot up the school? No. God, no."

On the verge of tears, Khamya described Butler as "the kindest person ever" before heartbreakingly suggesting that she and her friends could have played a role in the tragic incident.

Dylan Butler
Dylan Butler X

"He was there for us when we needed him, and we tried to be there when he needed us, which clearly we weren't there for him enough," she said.

As of July 2021, Iowa does not mandate a permit to purchase a handgun or carry a firearm in public, but it does require a background check for individuals purchasing a handgun without a permit.

While the police did not reveal the identities of Butler's six victims, the Easton Valley Community School District confirmed that Dan Marburger, who had been the school's principal since 1995, was one of the survivors.