“A Bright Light Dimmed: Remembering Ahmir Jolliff and the Tragic School Shooting”


Hundreds of people gathered in the small community of Perry to say goodbye to Ahmir Jolliff, an energetic and vibrant 11-year-old boy who tragically lost his life in a school shooting. The funeral took place at a Catholic church, with overflow attendees watching a televised broadcast at a nearby church. Reverend Andrea Brownlee described Ahmir as having a spirit that surpassed his young age, with a contagious smile and boundless energy that left an impact on everyone he met.

Ahmir Jolliff

A Tragic Loss

The devastating incident occurred on January 4th, when a 17-year-old student armed with a shotgun and handgun opened fire at the school. Ahmir was killed before classes even began, and seven other children and staff members were injured. The shooter, identified as Dylan Butler, ultimately took his own life.

A Vibrant Soul Remembered

Friends and family fondly remembered Ahmir as a boy who lived life to the fullest. Always on the move, he sought adventure and excitement in every aspect of his life. Reverend Brownlee highlighted Ahmir’s unwavering spirit and his refusal to stay in one place. Despite his young age, Ahmir stood up for his friends and fought against bullies, ensuring that kindness always prevailed.

An Outgoing Boy

Ahmir’s mother, Erica Jolliff, spoke about her son’s outgoing nature and his ability to connect with everyone in Perry. He was well-loved by the community, and his infectious personality left a lasting impression on those who crossed his path.

Recovery and Reopening

Following the tragic incident, school has been canceled in Perry. However, plans are in place to gradually reopen the schools. Elementary students will return to class next Thursday, while middle school students will resume their studies the following Friday. Repairs need to be completed at the high school, as the shooting took place in the cafeteria shared by the middle school. Once repairs are finished, the middle school can reopen.

A Community in Mourning

The Perry community has been deeply affected by this senseless act of violence. The loss of Ahmir has left a void in the hearts of many, and the community is coming together to support one another during this difficult time. The outpouring of love and support for Ahmir’s family is a testament to the impact he had on those around him.

Devastated Parents

In a statement released several days after the shooting, Dylan Butler’s parents expressed their shock and devastation. They had no prior indication of their son’s intentions and are cooperating with investigators to understand what led to this tragedy. Jack and Erin Butler extended their deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased and the injured, acknowledging the immeasurable grief they are experiencing.

A Lasting Legacy

Ahmir Jolliff’s memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew him. His vibrant soul and unwavering spirit will continue to inspire others to stand up for justice and spread kindness. The Perry community will remember Ahmir as a bright light that brought joy to everyone he encountered. As they mourn his loss, they will also strive to create a safer and more compassionate world in his honor.