Arrest made in fatal Panama City Beach shooting

Crime News Release

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Sheriff’s Office arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a man early Thursday morning.

At approximately 4:47 a.m., BCSO responded to Cabana West Apartments. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with Robert Larry Butler, who had been stabbed. Also inside the residence was a deceased individual with a single gunshot wound. The victim was identified as Samuel Hassler.

Hassler was known to the occupants and had gone to the residence to make contact with his girlfriend, who was staying in the apartment. A verbal altercation ensued between Butler and Hassler after Hassler entered his girlfriend’s bedroom. Investigators believe it was at that time Hassler was shot by Butler once, which resulted in Hassler’s death.

After Hassler was shot, the girlfriend retrieved a knife and cut Butler several times before exiting the apartment. Investigators have learned that Hassler had stayed at the apartment several times in the past, and was well known by Butler.

Robert Larry Butler, age 58, was arrested and charged with 2nd Degree Murder with a Firearm. He was booked into the Bay County Jail.

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