One person died and two others were seriously injured on Monday after that multiple shots appeared to come from a passing vehicle hit them outside an Iowa schoolauthorities said.
Des Moines police said in a news release that possible suspects have been arrested in the shooting on the grounds of East High School, near downtown Des Moines, about a half mile from the Capitol. Charges were not immediately filed.
Sergeant Paul Parizek told KCCI-TV —CBS affiliate— The calls started coming in around 2:50 p.m., shortly before classes ended for the day.
UPDATE: From Des Moines Fire Department spokesperson Ahman Douglass: A 15-year old boy who was shot just outside East High School has died. Two girls, ages 16 & 18 are in critical condition. DSM Fire took the victims to 2 DSM hospitals. @KCCINews
— Amanda Rooker KCCI (@ARookerKCCI) March 7, 2022
The district said in a news release that the school was immediately locked down and the students remained inside while police investigated. They were fired around 3:30 p.m. after law enforcement gave the go-ahead.
Director Jill Versteeg described what happened as “everyone’s worst nightmare” and urged parents to “embrace your students and love them.”
THREE GUNSHOT VICTIMS. All teenagers. Gunshots happened at 2:48pm. All three in critical condition. Happened right on school grounds. Gigantic crime scene at 13th and Buchanan. Shooting near East High School in Des Moines. pic.twitter.com/zHlR4mYofG
— Justin Surrency (@JustinSurrency) March 7, 2022
The district said there would be no school Tuesday and that it would postpone the ACT and parent-teacher conferences. The district was also making grief counselors available. Superintendent Thomas Ahart said school shootings “have become all too common” and said that “real change in gun laws and access would help us a lot.”
“Our staff and students are forced to train for these incidents and the trauma associated with the repeated drills and incidents will remain with them for years to come. It is unfortunate that our state and our country have become a place where firearms are all too accessible,” he said.
Parizek said he did not know if the victims, who appeared to be teenagers, were students. Their names were not immediately released. the police said that he does not believe there is a continuing threat to the public.
A motive was not immediately known, and Parizek did not provide details. about possible suspects. Authorities have recovered bullet casings from the scene as they investigate what happened.
“Obviously, we threw every resource we had into this. We know that the children of that school are the most precious cargo of our community.”
Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert went to the school after the shooting and expressed her frustration with the violence.
“Unfortunately, what happened here today was just another senseless tragedy in our community,” Wingert told WOI-TV. —affiliated with ABC. “People who use firearms to settle their differences.”