Police 2 students dead, man injured by a shooting in Des Moines shooting

Des Moines, Iowa (AP) Two teenagers were killed on Monday while one person was injured in what was believed to be an attack on an alternative education program that was designed to protect at-risk students from danger. The man who was injured has been identified as being the program’s creator -the rapper who has left a life of violence and gangs and is committed to helping young people in Des Moines.

Police announced on Monday that one person has been arrested in connection with the shooting. Two others were in police custody. Preston Walls, 18, from Des Moines, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder related to the incident at the Starts Right Here program. He was also accused of participating in a criminal gang.

Police 2 students dead

The shooting was caused by an ongoing gang conflict. Police claimed Walls was being released on supervised release for a weapon charge and removed his ankle monitor just 16 minutes prior to the shooting.

“The incident was clearly specifically targeted. It wasn’t random. It was not random. the incident,” Sgt. Paul Parizek said.

Two Des Moines teens, an aged 16 and an 18-year old male were killed. William Holmes — a 49-year-old rapper, who created the show and goes under the stage name of Will Keeps — was injured and was hospitalized on Monday night.

Police reported that Walls and the other three victims were present at the same school morning when Walls was seen entering an area that was common to Holmes as well as two other students were. Walls was carrying a 9mm handgun equipped with an extra ammunition cartridge police reported, but they didn’t specify whether Walls was carrying the gun.

Holmes tried to drag Walls off the scene but Walls fled, “pulled the handgun and began to shoot both of his teenage victim,” police said in the statement. Holmes was nearby when she was also shot, but Walls fled as police stated.

Officers responding to the incident noticed an unusual vehicle departing the area. Police took the vehicle into custody. However, Walls fled and was arrested a brief time after. Police reported that a handgun with a 9mm capacity was discovered close to. The ammunition magazine that can hold 31 rounds had three rounds.

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie claimed that the passengers who were in the vehicle that are surrounded by Walls are teenagers too.

“That means that there are five families of teens affected by gun violence among youth within a matter of hours on the afternoon of a Monday right in the capital city of Des Moines,” Cownie said at the Monday City Council meeting. “This is an ever-growing and worrying issue in the United States, one we’ve witnessed too many times in the past, and also this morning here in Des Moines.”

Cownie took a moment of silence in honor of the victims. He also spoke to the family members of the victims. “But there’s nothing that anyone could say to ease the pain of their families. There is nothing that can be said to bring them back people who were killed in such a way,” he said.

Walls hasn’t yet appeared in court. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he was represented by an attorney for him.

Police say emergency services were summoned into the college, which is located in the business park just after 1 p.m. Police were able to locate two pupils seriously injured. They started CPR immediately however, the two students died in an inpatient hospital.

It’s a good start Here is a program for education that assists at-risk kids from grades 9-12. It’s part of Des Moines School District. Des Moines school district.

“The school was created to fill in the gaps and aid the kids who need the most assistance,” Parizek said.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership, the community and economic development group that serves the area, states the website of its organization that Keeps was brought from Des Moines about 20 years ago from Chicago and “lived in the midst of violence and gangs” until he found healing through music.

The alliance said that the Starts Right Here movement “seeks to educate and inspire youth living in marginalized and oppressive situations through the arts entertainment, music, hip-hop and other programming. It also helps with students about financial literacy, and helps them prepare for interviews and develop their communication abilities. The aim is to remove barriers of intimidation, fear and other negative factors that lead to feelings of being ignored, disenfranchised and dismissed.”

According to the site of the program one of Keeps tracks, “Wake Up Iowa,” is a call to action that “violence and hatred aren’t the Iowa way. Instead we must learn from the mistakes of other cities’ mistakes so that we don’t get devastated by crime and violence.”

According to the school’s website, 70% of students they serve are minorities. It has produced 28 graduates since its inception from 2021. The district school said that it serves between 40 and fifty students in any one moment. The district stated that there were no district employees at the scene at the time of the shooting.

The interim superintendent Matt Smith said in a statement: “We are saddened to hear of yet another incident of gun violence, and especially one that affects an organization that is closely with our students. We’re waiting to know more however, our thoughts and prayers are with all victims of this attack and their family members and loved ones.”

Gov. Kim Reynolds, who serves on the advisory board for Starts Right Here, said she was “shocked and saddened by the news of the incident.” Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert is on the Starts Right Here board, according to the website of the program.

“I’ve observed firsthand how hard Will Keeps and his staff helps at-risk children with this program of alternative learning,” Reynolds said in an announcement. “My heart is broken for the children as well as their parents.”

Nicole Krantz said her office close to the school was placed on lockdown right following the shooting. She also said she witnessed a person running out of the building, with police who were on foot, and in patrol vehicles.

“We just witnessed a plethora of police cars rushing into the area from all directions,” Krantz told the Des Moines Register. “It’s terrifying. Everyone is worried. We went on lockdown, obviously. We were told to stay away from windows since we didn’t know whether they would catch the person,”

The incident was the sixth in one of the schools within the U.S. this year in which one person was injured or killed however, it was the first time there were fatalities, according Education Week, which tracks school shootings. The website reported that schools were involved in 51 shootings in the last year, resulting in injuries or deaths in addition to 150 since the beginning of 2018. In the most horrific school shooting of the this year 21 victims were killed in a school for children situated in Uvalde, Texas.

In a separate incident outside an Des Moines high school last March, a student was killed, and two others were severely injured. Ten individuals who were between 14-18 at the incident -were later charged. Five of those charged have pleaded guilty different charges connected to the shooting.


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