Two students died Monday at a Des Moines school dedicated to helping at-risk youth, police said in a targeted shooting that killed two students and killed an adult employee. three suspects were later arrested.
The shoot was done with an educational program called Starts Right Here, which is affiliated with the Des Moines School District.
Police said emergency services were called to the school located in the business park just before 1 p.m. When officers arrived, they found two students seriously injured and immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It was started. Two students died in hospital. The injured adult employee was in critical condition and underwent surgery on Monday afternoon.
About 20 minutes after the shooting, police said officers stopped a vehicle matching the description of a witness about two miles away and took three suspects into custody. Police said one of his suspects fled the vehicle, but officers using K-9s were able to track him down.
“This incident was definitely targeted. It wasn’t random. There was nothing random about this,” Sgt. Paul Palizek said.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley murmured He said he was monitoring the situation and was “praying for everyone affected.”
The Starts Right Here program to help at-risk youth in grades 9-12 was founded by rapper Will Holmes, whose stage name is Will Keeps. He did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Monday.
“This school is designed to help children who need it most,” said Palizek.
According to the website of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the region’s economic and community development organization, Keeps came to Des Moines from Chicago about 20 years ago and “lived in a world of gangs and violence” before finding solace through music. I was there.” .
According to the partnership, the Starts Right Here movement “aims to use arts, entertainment, music, hip-hop and other programs to encourage and educate young people living in disadvantaged and oppressive situations. It teaches literacy and also helps students improve their competencies by preparing them for job interviews, with the ultimate goal being the fear, intimidation, Breaking down the barriers of other harmful factors.”
According to the school’s website, 70% of its students are minorities and it has 28 alumni since opening. According to the school district, the program always serves between her 40 and her 50 students. The district said no district employees were at the scene at the time of the shooting.
The school district said in a statement: To the victims of this incident and their families and friends.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds, who serves on Starts Right Here’s advisory board, said he was “shocked and saddened to hear about the shootings.” Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert is on the Starts Right Here board.
“I have seen firsthand how hard Will Keepes and his staff are working to help at-risk children through this alternative education program,” Reynolds said in a statement. , the children and their families are heartbreaking and Kevin and I wish them a safe recovery.”
Nicole Krantz said her office near the school was cordoned off shortly after the shooting, and she saw people fleeing the building with police on foot and in patrol cars.
“I saw a lot of police cars coming out of nowhere,” Krantz told the Des Moines Register. “It’s scary. We’re all worried. Obviously we had a lockdown. We weren’t sure if they caught the man, so we stayed away from the window.” was told.”