Mass shooting in a Des Moines school in Iowa, 2 students killed

A law enforcement officer walks outside the Starts Right Here building, Jan. 23, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP)

According to authorities, the school shooting in Des Moines, Iowa, resulted in two kids' deaths.

The third victim, an employee of the charter school Starts Right Here, is in critical condition, according to Des Moines police spokesperson Paul Parizek.

Police later identified the injured party as William Holmes, 49, the founder and CEO of Starts Right Here. As of Monday evening, he remained hospitalized in critical condition, according to authorities.

The incident occurred within the school and was reported shortly before 1 p.m. According to authorities, three prospective suspects were apprehended approximately 20 minutes later at a traffic stop about 3 kilometres from the school.

Police stated that the shooting was the consequence of an "ongoing gang dispute,"

Police said 18-year-old Preston Walls of Des Moines had been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and criminal gang membership. Parizek stated that two further individuals remain in jail while the inquiry proceeds.

The victims have not been recognized, but according to authorities, they were two young men, ages 18 and 16, respectively.

Although the motive is unknown, Parizek asserts that the shooting was "definitely targeted" and "not random."

Matt Smith, the interim superintendent of the Des Moines Public Schools, said, "We are currently awaiting additional information, but our prayers are with the victims and their families and friends. Starts Right Here is a valued DMPS partner, performing essential work to help us re-engage kids, and we stand ready to assist them during this crucial moment."

The Iowa State Education Association president, Mike Beranek, issued the following statement: "We ask our elected officials to examine effective tactics to end gun violence and to pursue tangible solutions to ensure the safety of our children, educators, and communities. Our schools must be fortresses of safety, not sites of violence. This must cease. As a society, we must acknowledge that this cultural problem permeates our schools."

A representative from Des Moines Public Schools stated that Start Here is a "community partner of Des Moines Public Schools providing two services: helping to re-engage students in the district's Options Academy credit recovery program and supporting students no longer in a school building due to behavioural issues." The spokesman stated that the school began cooperating with the district in 2021 and served between 40 and 50 kids.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a statement expressing astonishment and sadness.

She stated that she has "first-hand how hard" the school staff "works to help at-risk kids through this alternative education program."

The governor stated, "My heart breaks for them, these kids and their families,"

Publish : 2023-01-24 13:03:00

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