Two students dead, teacher injured in Des Moines shooting, suspect in custody

Two students dead, teacher injured in Des Moines shooting, suspect in custody
Two students dead, teacher injured in Des Moines shooting, suspect in custody

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Police say a shooting at a Des Moines, Iowa, outreach center left two students dead and one staff member injured.

The shooting took place Monday as part of a program called Starts Right Here, which is affiliated with the Des Moines School District, the Associated Press reported. The program takes place in a business park in the city.

Authorities were called to the facility around 1 p.m. local time and performed CPR on the two students, who later died in hospital. The teacher was listed in serious condition, according to the AP.

On Monday, police said three suspects were in custody. Among those three was 18-year-old Preston Walls, who was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of participating in a criminal gang, according to KCCI. On Tuesday, local media reported that the other two people detained by police had been released without charge.

“I am shocked and saddened to learn of the shooting at Starts Right Here,” Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said in a statement. “I have seen how hard Will Keeps and his team work to help at-risk children through this alternative education program. My heart breaks for them, these children and their families. Kevin and I pray for their safe recovery.

Other Iowa officials expressed pain after the shooting.

“I am saddened to learn of the shooting at Starts Right Here in Des Moines,” US state senator Joni Ernst wrote.

. “I’ve seen the positive impact Will Keeps and his team have on young people in Iowa. Keeping all those affected in my prayers.

Mr. Keeps founded the Starts Right Here program, which focuses on at-risk youth in high school.

The center offers mentoring, career advice, financial literacy training and other services to students with the goal of “creating a pool of educated, equipped and empowered workers to build successful lives,” according to the website of the program.

Deandre Smith, whose daughter attends a youth program at Starts Right Here,

that one of the victims included Mr. Keeps.

“I don’t know exactly what happened,” he said. “I just know kids came in here and shot other kids and Will Keeps.”

“I’m sad, this s*** is sad,” Mr Smith added.

“We are saddened to learn of another act of gun violence, especially one that affects an organization that works closely with some of our students,” the Des Moines Public School System said in a statement, KCCI reports. “We are still waiting to learn more, but our hearts go out to all the victims of this incident and their families and friends. Starts Right Here is a valued partner for DMPS, which does important work to help us re-engage students, and we stand ready to support them during this critical time.

Police arrested the suspects in their car near MacRae Park, about two miles from the scene of the shooting, on Monks Register reports, prompting one of the individuals to flee before being caught by an officer with a search dog.

Bystanders said they also saw police chase an individual on foot out of the Starts Right Here building.

“We just saw a lot of police cars coming in from everywhere,” said Nicole Krantz, who works as a coder in a nearby building. Register. ” It’s terrifying. We are all worried. We went into confinement, of course. We were all told to stay away from the windows because we weren’t sure they caught the guy.

Des Moines Police Department Sergeant Paul Parizek told reporters the incident was a targeted shooting.

“There was nothing random about it, it was definitely a targeted incident,” he said. “As for the motive, that’s something we’ll try to figure out.”

“The school is designed to pick up the slack and help the children who need the most help, those who are not getting the services they need for various reasons,” he added. “For that to happen here, it’s going to have a horrific impact on the community.”

Iowa lawmakers observed a minute’s silence Monday afternoon in reference to the shooting.

The deadly violence follows a mass shooting in California over the weekend, where nearly a dozen people were killed at a dance club as revelers celebrated the Lunar New Year.

Anti-gun violence activists said the shooting was indicative of America’s larger problem with access to guns putting young people at risk.

“We barely caught our breath and dealt with the shootings in Monterey Park and Baton Rouge, but another community is hurting now,” the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence wrote in a statement.


. Two students dead teacher injured in a shooting Des Moines suspect guard view

. students dead teacher injured Des Moines shooting suspect custody

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