6th grader killed by ‘genderfluid’ Iowa school shooter identified as Ahmir ‘Smiley’ Jolliff
The boy who was murdered by Perry High School mass shooter Dylan Butler has been identified as 11-year-old Ahmir Jolliff. The 6th grader was reportedly attending the breakfast program at the high school when he was killed.
Jolliff, who attended the middle school attached to the high school, was the only one of Butler’s victims to lose his life during the attack. Four other students, the school’s principal, and two staff members were injured.
According to the Associated Press, Jolliff’s mother Erica said he was eager to get to school Thursday morning, which was the first day back from winter break. Full of enthusiasm, he left home early, minutes ahead of his mother and sister.
When the news broke that there had been a shooting, Erica rushed to the school and found her daughter, but not Ahmir. She told the AP that she “just had a feeling he was still in that building.”
Ahmir’s nickname was “Smiley,” which his mother explained was because he was always cheerful and happy. In his obituary, he was described as a “vibrant soul, known for his infectious smile and boundless energy.”
“Ahmir was not just a bright light,” it read. “He was a steadfast defender of justice. He stood up against bullies, championing those who needed a voice and ensuring that kindness prevailed.”
The incident took place shortly before 7:40 am on January 4 in Perry, a town about 35 miles northwest of the state capital, Des Moines.
Butler was found to have been carrying a “pump-action shotgun and a small caliber handgun” at the time, and also “made a number of social media posts in and around the time of the shooting.” His social media profiles identified him as “genderfluid.”
He ultimately ended his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
“We send our condolences to the family of Dylan,” Erica said in an interview with the AP after learning that Butler, who identified as he/they on one of his social media platforms, had been bullied for years before carrying out the attack. “They’re in our prayers and we’re truly sorry for his loss as well.”