Des Moines school shooting – live: Teen charged with murder as rapper who founded school identified as victim

 (AP)
(AP)

An 18-year-old man has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting at a Des Moines, Iowa, non-profit organisation for urban youth, which left two students dead and a teacher injured.

According to the police the teen has been identified as student Preston Walls and has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Walls was on supervised pre-trial release on a weapons charge and had removed an ankle bracelet 16 minutes before he went to the school with a gun and confronted the two student victims.

Two teenagers — an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old male — were killed in the attack.

Walls and the two students all had gang affiliations and were in opposing gangs.

The injured man has been identified as the program’s founder —49-year-old William Holmes — a rapper who left a life of violence and was dedicated to helping youth in Des Moines.

In a statement Sergeant Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police Department said that the shooting is a targeted incident.

But added that the motive for the shooting was unknown.

What we know so far.

Follow for the latest updates.

Key Points

  • Police identify suspect as 18-year-old Preston Walls

  • Police charge suspect Walls with murder

  • Two teen students killed in shooting

  • School's founder and former rapper William Holmes injured

  • Police describe shooting as a ‘targeted attack’

Police identify shooting suspect

03:56 , Sravasti Dasgupta

An 18-year-old man has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting at a Des Moines in Iowa.

According to the police the teen has been identified as student Preston Walls and has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Walls was on supervised pre-trial release on a weapons charge and had removed an ankle bracelet 16 minutes before he went to the school with a gun and confronted the two student victims.

Police said Walls and the two students all had gang affiliations and were in opposing gangs.

A law enforcement officer walks outside the Starts Right Here building, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP)
A law enforcement officer walks outside the Starts Right Here building, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP)

What we know about the Des Moines shooting

12:00 , Josh Marcus

Independent reporters are following the latest details from the Des Moines shooting.

Learn more in our full report.

Two students killed and teacher injured in Des Moines shooting

Iowa senator offers condolences after Des Moines shooting

11:00 , Josh Marcus

Public officials in Iowa are speaking out after a mass shooting in Des Moines on Monday.

Here’s what they had to say.

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WATCH: Des Moines mayor speaks out following shooting at youth centre

10:00 , Josh Marcus

City officials gathered on Monday for a city council meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.

On everyone’s minds were the events of earlier that day, when a shooting at a youth centre left two dead and one injured.

Here’s what mayor Frank Cownie told the council chamber.

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Des Moines school system speaks out after youth centre shooting

07:59 , Josh Marcus

“We are saddened to learn of another act of gun violence, especially one that impacts an organization that works closely with some of our students,” the school system said in a statement on Monday.

Read their full remarks here.

VIDEO: Moment of silence as victims of Des Moines shooting honoured

07:00 , Josh Marcus

Iowa lawmakers paused for a moment of silence on Monday in recognition of the two people killed in a mass shooting at a youth centre in Des Moines earlier in the day.

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Police have not revealed the names of the deceased at this point.

Keeping track of the details on another major shooting

06:00 , Josh Marcus

Sadly, Des Moines isn’t the only community reeling from a mass shooting.

Over the weekend, 11 people were killed in Southern California at a dance hall on the eve of Lunar New Year.

Our reporters have been following all the details.

Death toll rises to 11 in Monterey Park shooting - live

ICYMI: Two students dead and teacher injured in Des Moines shooting with ‘multiple suspects’ in custody

05:00 , Josh Marcus

A shooting at a Des Moines, Iowa, outreach centre has left two students dead and a staff member injured, according to police.

The shooting took place at a programme called Starts Right Here, which is affiliated with the Des Moines school district, the Associated Press reported. The programme is held in a business park in the city.

Police said three suspects were in custody. Authorities were called to the facility around 1pm local time and performed CPR on the two students, who later died at hospital. The teacher was listed in serious condition, according to the AP.

Here’s what we know.

Two students killed and teacher injured in Des Moines shooting

Police decry growing gun violence in Iowa

04:00 , Josh Marcus

Local officials are shocked after a shooting killed two and injured a third at a Des Moines, Iowa, youth centre.

All three suspects in the shooting are youths themselves, according to Des Moines police sergeant Paul Parizek.

“That brings a total of five families of teenagers affected by youth gun violence in a matter of minutes on a Monday afternoon, right here in our capital city,” he said. “This is a growing and alarming phenomenon in our country and one we’ve seen too often in the past and again today in the city of Des Moines.”

Injured victim of Des Moines shooting is founder of youth centre

03:00 , Josh Marcus

Will Keeps, the rapper and activist who founded the Starts Right Here youth centre where the Des Moines shooting took place, was injured in the violence, KCCI reports.

Mr Keeps, who grew up exposed to gang violence in Chicago, started the programme as a safe haven for at-risk youth.

Mayor calls gun violence a ‘growing and alarming phenomenon'

02:00 , Josh Marcus

Des Moines, Iowa, has been experiencing a shocking run of violence, according to local officials, including a shooting Monday afternoon at a youth centre.

“This is a growing and an alarming phenomenon in our country and one we’ve seen too often in the past and again today in the city of Des Moines,” mayor Frank Cownie said during a city council meeting on Monday.

The city has been experiencing a “wave of violence,” according to the Des Moines Register.

There have been at least 10 homicides since December, according to the paper, including the police shooting of a 16-year-old.

Police looking at ‘most serious charges’ for Des Moines shooting

01:40 , Josh Marcus

Police have three suspects in custody related to a Monday shooting at a Des Moines, Iowa, youth centre.

“We’ve got two people dead, so we’re looking at the most serious charges,” Police Sgt. Paul Parizek told CNN.

Shooting victim includes activist with ties to top Iowa officials

01:20 , Josh Marcus

One of those affected in the Des Moines violence on Monday is activist Will Keeps, founder of the Starts Right Here centre where the shooting took place.

Mr Keeps, a rapper and activist, won approval for his work from figures including Iowa governor Kim Reynolds.

Last year, Mr Keeps shared a photo on LinkedIn of the governor visiting him at home.

 (LinkedIn / Will Keeps)
(LinkedIn / Will Keeps)

Youth centre founder injured in shooting: mayor

01:00 , Josh Marcus

Two youth are dead and one person is injured folllowing a shooting at a Des Moines, Iowa, youth centre on Monday.

The injured individual is Will Keeps, the rapper and activist who founded the programme, according to Des Moines mayor Frank Cownie.

Mr Keeps was taken to the hospital in serious condition and taken into surgery, KCCI reports.

‘Police cannot do it all,’ officer says after Des Moines shooting

00:40 , Josh Marcus

It’s a familiar scene across America: a shooting occurs, and a comunity begins to search for answers.

Des Moines police sergeant Paul Parizek says stopping such tragedies goes beyond policing alone.

“We’ve got to get everybody around the table and start finding the solutions to this because the police cannot do it all,” he said on Monday, the New York Times reports. “We’re good at what we do, but that doesn’t give families any peace. That doesn’t give the friends of these kids any hope that it’s going to get any better. We need the support on that front side.”

Des Moines experiencing ‘wave of violence’

00:20 , Josh Marcus

A Monday morning shooting at a Des Moines, Iowa, youth centre sadly isn’t an isolated occurence.

The city has been experiencing a “wave of violence,” according to the Des Moines Register.

There have been at least 10 homicides since December, according to the paper, including the police shooting of a 16-year-old.

‘Again, again, and again’: Another week filled with mass shootings

00:00 , Josh Marcus

Since Saturday’s shootings at Lunar New Year celebration in Southern California, there has been one mass shooting a day, including gun violence in Baton Rouge that injured a dozen people, and a shooting at a youth centre in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday morning.

Gun safety groups said the string of shootings was a reminder of America’s gun violence problem.

“Again, again, and again,” the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence wrote on Twitter on Monday. “Two students have been killed and a teacher injured in a school shooting in Des Moines, Iowa. We’ve barely taken a breath and processed the shootings in Monterey Park and Baton Rouge—yet another community is now hurting.”

Iowa legislators hold moment of silence

Monday 23 January 2023 23:40 , Josh Marcus

Lawmakers at the Iowa statehouse held a moment of silence on Monday in honour of two students who were fatally shot at a Des Moines youth centre earlier in the day.

Here’s a video of the poignant moment captured by reporter Ty Rushing.

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Senator praises ‘positive impact’ Starts Right Here had on Iowa youth

Monday 23 January 2023 23:20 , Josh Marcus

In the wake of a deadly shooting at Iowa education outreach centre Starts Right Here, Iowa officials are highlighting the work the programme did with at-risk Des Moines youth.

“I’m saddened to hear of the shooting at Starts Right Here in Des Moines,” US Senator for Iowa Joni Ernst wrote on Twitter. “I‘ve seen the positive impact Will Keeps and his staff have on young Iowans. Keeping all those impacted in my prayers.”

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Student’s father: ‘This has to stop'

Monday 23 January 2023 23:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Deandre Smith said his daughter goes to a youth program at Starts Right Here. She called him about the shooting.

Mr Smith said: “This has to stop”.

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'Incident was definitely targeted’

Monday 23 January 2023 22:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Sergeant Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police Department told reporters on Monday afternoon that the traffic stop in which the suspects were apprehended occurred near MacRae Park. Three people were arrested.

“The incident was definitely targeted. It was not random,” Mr Parizek said. “There was nothing random about this.”

Everything we know so far

Monday 23 January 2023 22:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Two students killed and teacher injured in Des Moines shooting

Des Moines Public Schools ‘saddened’ by violence at ‘valuable partner'

Monday 23 January 2023 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Des Moines Public Schools released the following statement after news of the shooting broke:

We are saddened to learn of another act of gun violence, especially one that impacts an organization that works closely with some of our students. We are waiting to learn more details, but our thoughts are with any victims and their families and friends. Starts Right Here is a valuable partner, doing important work to help us re-engage students, and we stand by to support them during this critical time.

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Governor Kim Reynolds issues statement

Monday 23 January 2023 22:12 , Oliver O'Connell

Governor Kim Reynolds released a statement following the shooting:

I am shocked and saddened to hear about the shooting at Starts Right Here. I’ve seen first-hand how hard Will Keeps and his staff works to help at-risk kids through this alternative education program. My heart breaks for them, these kids and their families. Kevin and I are praying for their safe recovery.

Three suspects in custody

Monday 23 January 2023 21:54 , Oliver O'Connell

Approximately 20 minutes after the shooting, three suspects were taken into custody following a traffic stop.

Two people remained in the vehicle but a third fled on foot and was apprehended with the use of a canine unit.

Sergeant Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department said that the shooting is a targeted incident.

Two students have died

Monday 23 January 2023 21:47 , Oliver O'Connell

Three people were shot in the incident, with two students taken to hospital with critical injuries.

They died. There is no confirmation of their ages at this time.

The third victim is listed as in a serious condition and is an employee of the school.

Shooting reported at Des Moines charter school

Monday 23 January 2023 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Des Moines police officers were dispatched to a non-profit organisation after two students were shot and one member of staff was injured in a shooting on Monday.

The shooting was reported at 12.53pm local time at the Starts Right Here non-profit school which is focused on helping at-risk youth.

America’s gun crisis, by the numbers

02:05 , Josh Marcus

After recent shootings in California, Louisiana, and now Iowa, America’s gun violence epidemic shows no signs of stopping.

There have been 37 mass shootings in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, more than one a day.

An Iowa community searchers for answers

02:02 , Josh Marcus

Officials say it will take a whole-of-government approach to cut down on the type of gun violence that left two people dead and a third injured at a Des Moines youth centre on Monday.

“We’ve got to get everybody around the table and start finding the solutions to this because the police cannot do it all,” Des Moines police sergeant Paul Parizek told the New York Times. “We’re good at what we do, but that doesn’t give families any peace. That doesn’t give the friends of these kids any hope that it’s going to get any better. We need the support on that front side.”