Two students were killed and one employee is in serious condition following a shooting at an educational program in Des Moines, Iowa, according to the Des Moines Police Department.
At 12:53 pm, police and firefighters responded to a report of a shooting at 455 SW 5th Street, which is home to a nonprofit organization called Starts Right Here, police said in a news release.
They found the wounded, who were taken to hospitals. The ages of the victims and suspects have not been released.
Police obtained a description of a vehicle related to the shooting and were stopped in traffic about 20 minutes after the shooting, two miles away, Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said at a press conference.
Two people stayed in the vehicle and one got out and fled, Parizek said. Police found the suspect with a tracking dog, he said.
Parizek did not name the suspects or say whether they have been indicted.
“We have two people dead, so we are looking into the most serious allegations,” he said.
The motive has yet to be released by the police.
“The incident was definitely targeted,” he said. “It wasn’t random. There’s nothing random about it. It was certainly a targeted incident. But as for getting a motive, that’s something we’re going to try to figure out.”
According to the Starts Right Here website, “Starts Right Here (SRH) is busy inspiring at-risk youth in the Des Moines Public Schools and motivating youth through speaking events. Will Keeps, President of SRH, presents empowering songs to inspire and speak truth.”
Keeps is a musician from Des Moines.
The Des Moines Public Schools website says that SRS partners with the school district to assist students in the district’s Options Academy credit recovery program and to support students who are no longer in a school building. SRS serves 40 to 50 DMPS students at any one time, the school district said.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, listed on the site’s advisory board, said she was “shocked and saddened” by the shooting.
“I am shocked and saddened to learn of the shooting at Starts Right Here. I’ve seen firsthand how hard Will Keeps and his team work to help at-risk children through this alternative education program. My heart breaks for them, these children and their families. Kevin and I are praying for his safe recovery,” Reynolds said in a statement.
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