Two students shot dead at Des Moines youth program - Liberty

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Two students shot dead at Des Moines youth program


The shooting occurred at Starts Right Here, a program for at-risk students outside his park in downtown Des Moines. Charlie Neboger/Associated Press

On Monday, an 18-year-old gang member watches his ankle to attend an education program for at-risk youth in Des Moines. Authorities received a court order to cut off two of her classmates after they said they were members of an opposing gang, he said.

Police in Des Moines, her 18-year-old Preston Walls, and the shooter confirmed she also shot William Holmes, 49, who founded her program Starts Light Here, police said in a statement Monday night. Stated. Paddy field. Holmes was hospitalized in critical condition.

Two of his dead victims, a 16-year-old and his 18-year-old, were Des Moines residents whose names were not immediately released, police said.

Police said Walls is believed to have shot and killed two teenagers during a gang brawl. He was wearing an ankle monitor but removed it about 16 minutes before the shot was fired.

Wall entered the common area at Starlight and Here Monday afternoon with a handgun and an expanded ammunition depot, police said. Authorities said they tried to force Walls out of the area before Holmes opened fire.

After shooting two teenagers and Holmes, Walls fled on foot, police said.

Walls was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and participation in a criminal organization.

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cowney told the city council Monday night that Holmes, a rapper named Will Keeps, is "recovering in hospital tonight."

"Unfortunately, this is one of those incidents that seem to happen all too often in so many communities in this country, the story of how gun violence is killing young people's lives too quickly. Tragedy It's a story," Clowney said.

Police and firefighters responded to reports of shootings shortly before 1 pm. Inside Starts Right Here operates out of the Business Hiss Park unit in downtown Des Moines. Police said in a statement that they had found two injured students and a staff member.

Two students were pronounced dead in the hospital. Des Moines Police Department Deputy Commissioner Paul Palizek said at a press conference:

About 20 minutes after the shooting, police stopped traffic about two miles (2 miles) from the shooting scene and arrested three people, Sergeant Palizek said. Two people remained in the vehicle and a third escaped. The sergeant said a police dog helped track down the man.

Police said he and two others were still in custody Monday night as part of an investigation.

According to its website, Starts Right Here works directly with the city's public schools by offering tutoring, mentoring, and job training.

At a press conference, Sergeant Palizek said, "It felt like a record was broken."

"The police can't do everything, so we need to get everyone at the table and start finding solutions," he said. ” I need your support. ”

Sergeant Palizek said the purpose of Starts Right Here is to help the "most in need" and "those on the margins" who, for various reasons, cannot access the services they need.

"What happened here will have a terrifying effect on the community," he said of the shooting.

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds are members of the group's advisory board.

Des Moines Public Schools Interim Superintendent Matt Smith said in a statement that the school district was "sad to learn of this new outbreak of gun violence" and made Starts Right Here a "valuable resource." Describe as a partner.

According to the statement, since 2021, Starts Right Here has been offering two of its services, allowing students to enroll in any academy within the district and qualifying students between the ages of 17 and 21 to obtain a diploma. is available. Is doing. Help with re-registration. Offer self-paced classes or high school diploma exams to provide academic and social support to students not attending traditional schools.

The organization serves more than 50 Des Moines Public Schools students at any one time, and the school district provides educational programs.