Two students were killed in a shooting at a school in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, police said.
A third victim, a school employee, is in serious condition after the shooting at the charter school Starts Right Here, Des Moines police spokesman Paul Parisek told reporters.
Police later said the wounded victim was 49-year-old William Holmes of Altoona, founder and CEO of Starts Right Here. Police said he was hospitalized in critical condition as of Monday night.
Police said the shooting inside the school was called before 1pm and three suspects were detained about 20 minutes later at a traffic stop about two miles from the school.
Police said the shooting was the result of an “ongoing gang dispute.”
Des Moines 18-year-old Preston Walls has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and involvement in a criminal gang, according to police. Two more people are in custody as the investigation continues, Parizek said.
The victims have not been identified, but police said they were two young men, aged 18 and 16 respectively.
The motive was unclear, but Palizek said the shooting was “definitely targeted” and “not random.”
Des Moines Public Schools Interim Superintendent Matt Smith said in a statement: It’s important work to help re-engage students, and we stand by to support them during this critical time. ”
Iowa State Education Association President Mike Veranek said in a statement: A bastion of security, not a recipient of violence.
A Des Moines Public Schools representative said, “Start Here is a community partner of Des Moines Public Schools and provides two services: helping students re-enroll in the district’s optional academy credit recovery program; We are supporting students who are missing from our buildings because of behavior issues.” The school, which began partnerships with school districts in 2021, is serving 40 to 50 students, a representative said. I’m here.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said in a statement that he was “shocked and saddened.”
She said she had “firsthand seen” how hard the school’s staff are “working to help at-risk children through this alternative education programme.”
“My heart aches for them, these children and their families,” the governor said.