Butler murder trial in review

Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 09:43 AM.

For several officers with Gulf County Sheriff’s Office and the Port St. Joe Police Department, it was the first shooting incident they had responded to, but they held firm on how the situation was handled. They indicated that cruiser lights were on, weapons were drawn and strong eye contact was when speaking with the suspects.

After they arrived, Lynn opened the door and stepped outside while Butler remained in the doorway. Police immediately ordered them to the ground.

Lynn quickly complied and was handcuffed while Butler went back inside and closed the door behind him, creating a tense situation.

“Walt looked right at me and went back in and shut the door,” said Deputy Richard Burkett.

As Burkett moved to the rear of the apartment, attempting to secure the scene, he discovered a bloody Gant sitting in a chair on the back porch. Burkett, unable to see the man’s injuries in the dark, told Gant to go home. Burkett said that Gant told him he couldn’t because Butler had shot him.

According to Burkett, Gant was responsive as he and EMS responder John Ford loaded him into the ambulance for Bay Medical Trauma Center. As the ambulance took off for a “safe zone” to administer an assessment, Deputy Larry Dickey observed Butler through the sliding glass door.

“I maintained eye sight in the residence. It appeared that he was eating and watching TV,” said Dickey.

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