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Two Students Killed in Shooting at Des Moines Charter School

Two students have been killed with one employee in serious condition after a shooting occurred at Des Moines charter school in Iowa. The school is a non-profit tailored for disadvantaged and at-risk youth—police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek said the students were found in critical condition and that officers performed CPR on them. The two students were taken to the hospital where they died. One other student is in serious condition.


Parizek said that “there was nothing random” about the shooting, but the motive of the suspect remains unclear. This is another act of gun violence in a city where there have been at least ten homicides since early December 2022.


About 20 minutes after the shooting, police stopped a vehicle near MacRae Park, about two miles south of the shooting scene, at around 1:20 PM based on a witness description. One person fled from the car and was tracked by a K-9 officer, while the other two suspects remained in the car, Parizek said. All three were taken into custody and questioned.


The Des Moines charter school is affiliated with the educational program Starts Right Here, founded in 2021 by Will Holmes. Parizek said the school is “designed to help the kids who need help the most”. The partnership said the Starts Right Here movement “seeks to encourage and educate young people living in disadvantaged and oppressive circumstances using the arts, entertainment, music, hip hop, and other programs.” Gov. Kim Reynolds, who serves on an advisory board for Starts Right Here said she was “shocked and saddened to hear about the shooting.”


A witness explained how she saw cop cars coming from everywhere and it was worrisome. Nicole Krantz, who works in an office near the school, says her office was put on lockdown immediately after the shooting and said she saw someone running from the building with police in pursuit.


Parizek has not identified the three suspects, nor did he say if they had been charged. The motive has not yet been released, but the police are currently underway of investigating it. Because two people died as a result of the shooting, the police are looking at the most serious charges.

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