Walton Henry Butler (pictured), a 59-year-old White man from Port St. Joe, Fla., has been charged with the attempted murder of a Black man after shooting him in the face during an altercation, WJHG-TV reports. Butler has also been charged with a hate crime in connection to the shooting.
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The incident took place on Monday night at the Pine Ridge Apartments in Port St. Joe. Cops say that Bulter used racial slurs towards children in the complex and the victim, 32-year-old Everett Gant, knocked on his door to talk to him about it. Butler reportedly opened the door and shot Gant in the face with a 22. caliber shotgun. After the shooting, he allegedly closed the door, called 911 and finished cooking dinner.
According to WMBB-TV, Butler made a 911 call claiming the shooting was in self-defense:
“This man came in and threatened to kill me and I just shot him. I need ya’ll to come and pick him up…. He’s moving out there, he’s on my back patio.”
Fortunately, Gant survived the shooting and is listed in “guarded condition.”
Here are more details from WJHG-TV:
When Sheriff Nugent arrived Butler told him he did not understand the problem and acted as if he was being inconvenienced. “He was brought to the investigation unit where he was interviewed and basically admitted to shooting the victim and said he shot a, used a racial slur, and said that is what he shot and acted like it was not like a big deal or anything to him,” said Gulf County Sheriff Joe Nugent.
The Broward Palm Beach New Times uploaded a probable-cause affidavit that describes the phraseology of the racial slur Butler allegedly used during Sheriff Nugent’s investigation into the shooting. Not only did Butler seem “inconvenienced” by Nugent, as written in the affidavit, he “did not understand the problem. He had only shot a n*gger.”
In a phone interview with WJHG-TV, Nugent confirms that Butler used a racial slur and admitted to shooting Gant during police questioning.
He is being held without bond and state prosecutors are expected to formally file charges against him in five days.