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Iowa school shooting: Teen charged with murder

DES MOINES, IOWA – Authorities arrested six teenagers, including a 14-year-old student, in a shooting incident outside a school that left a 15-year-old boy dead and two female students seriously injured. , Des Moines police said Tuesday.

The suspects, all from Des Moines, were each charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in the Monday afternoon shooting at East High School’s campus near downtown. Des Moines street, about 0.8 km. from the Capitol.

Police said the gunshots outside the school were fired by several gunmen from multiple vehicles. Those arrested ranged in age from 14 to 17.

Police said in a Facebook post that the slain 15-year-old, who was not a student at the school, was the intended target of the shooting. The two other people shot were women aged 16 and 18, both of whom attended East School, and were simply bystanders arrested in the shooting, police said.

Police said the 16-year-old girl remained hospitalized on Tuesday in serious condition, while the 18-year-old remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Sgt. Paul Parizek told KCCI-TV that calls started pouring in around 2:50 p.m. Monday, just before classes were scheduled to end for the day.

The district said in a press release that the school was immediately locked down and students were kept inside while police investigated. They were dispersed around 3:30 p.m. after law enforcement made the clear announcement.

Principal Jill Versteeg described what happened as “everyone’s worst nightmare” and urged parents to “hug your students and love them.”

The district said there will be no classes on Tuesday and it has postponed the ACT college entrance exam and parent-teacher meetings. The district is also providing grief counselors.

Superintendent Thomas Ahart said school shootings had “become too common” and said “real change to gun laws and access would go a long way for us.”

“Our staff and students are forced to train for these incidents, and the injuries associated with repetitive drills and incidents will remain with them for years to come,” he said. It’s unfortunate that our state and country has become a place where guns are so easily accessible. “

Police said they do not believe there is a continuing threat to the public. A motive is not immediately known. Authorities recovered shell casings from the scene as they investigated what happened.

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert went to the school after the shooting and expressed disappointment at the violence.

“Unfortunately what happened here today is just another senseless tragedy in our community,” Wingert told broadcaster WOI-TV. “People who use guns to settle their differences.”

This is the fourth murder in Des Moines this year, police say.

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Hollingsworth reports from Mission, Kansas.

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