Gunfire outside an Iowa high school on Monday afternoon claimed one young life, while two other students sustained serious injuries. Someone opened fire outside a Des Moines high school, killing one 15-year-old boy, while two girls, 16 and 18, were critically wounded. All three of them were rushed to an area hospital, where the boy succumbed to his injuries, whereas the girls remained in critical condition, police noted.
The identities of the victims were not clear at the moment. The Des Moines police informed in a tweet at 3 pm local time that officers arrived at the scene of the shooting at East High School just after classes were dismissed. A cause behind the shooting was not established yet.
Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek informed that multiple suspects in connection with the shooting have been detained but no charges have been filed yet. Parizek declined to comment on the identities of the suspects or divulge any additional information.
'Punch in the Gut'
Sgt. Parizek called the incident 'a punch in the gut.' "The kids in that school are our community's most precious cargo," he told KCCI 8. Police have reason to believe that the shots were fired from a passing car. The school was put under lockdown following the shooting and residents were asked to steer clear from the area.
An East High School student, Kaylie Shannon told KCCI 8 that she heard the gunfire when she was in the school parking lot. "I was just sitting in my friend's car and then all of the sudden I heard 11 gunshots and some boys screaming," she said.
'An Event Like this is Everyone's Worst Nightmare'
Jill Versteeg, the principal of East High School said in a statement that the incident was 'everyone's worst nightmare.' "I think we can all agree an event like this is everyone's worst nightmare. Tonight, hug your students and love them," she said.
The seventh-largest school in Iowa with 2,076 students, East High School is located about half a mile away from the state Capitol.