DES MOINES, Iowa: Two teenage students were killed and one was seriously injured Monday in what police said was a targeted shooting at an alternative educational program designed to keep at-risk youth out of trouble. was gone, the police said. The injured man was identified as the program’s founder – a rapper who left a life of violence and was dedicated to helping youth in Des Moines.
Police said three people were arrested immediately after firing at an educational program called Starts Right Here. Des Minee Mayor Frank Kony identified the injured adult as William Homes – which is known by the stage name Will Keeps – and said that the victims and the arrested were all the teenagers.
Koni said, “In a few minutes on Monday afternoon, the young gun brings a total of five families of teenagers affected by the violence,” Koni said. “This is a growing and dangerous event in our country, and one that we have seen in the past in the city of Des Moines and still often today.”
Koni kept a moment’s silence for the victims. He said that he had spoken to his family members. “But it can rarely be said that this will reduce their pain. Nothing can be said to bring them back, who was so brutally killed.
An educational program affiliated with the Des Moines School District begins here. Police said emergency crews were called to the school, which is in a business park, just before 1 p.m. Officers found two students with serious injuries, and they immediately began CPR. Both the students died in the hospital. The adult, later identified by Mayer as Kipps, was in critical condition, and police said he would undergo surgery Monday evening.
About 20 minutes after the shooting, officers stopped a car about 2 miles (3.22 kilometers) away and took three people into custody, police said. Police said a man fled in the car, but officers tracked the man with a K-9.
“The incident was definitely targeted. It was not accidental. There was nothing accidental about it,” said Sgt. Paul Parizek. But he added that the motive for the shooting is not known.
The Starts Right Here program, which helps at-risk youth in grades 9-12, was founded by Kepps in 2021.
“The school is designed to pick up the slack and help the kids who need the most help,” Parizek said. Police did not say whether the teens taken into custody were students of the program.
The Greater Des Moines Partnership, the economic and community development organization for the area, states on its website that Keeps came to Des Moines about 20 years ago from Chicago, where he “was exposed to a world of gangs and violence” before finding healing through music. lived”.
The Starts Right Here movement, the partnership said, “seeks to encourage and educate youth living in disadvantaged and oppressive circumstances using arts, entertainment, music, hip hop and other programs. It also teaches financial literacy and prepares students for job opportunities.” Helps to prepare for interviews and improve their communication skills.The ultimate goal is to break down the barriers of fear, intimidation and other harmful factors that lead to a feeling of being deprived, forgotten and rejected.
According to the program’s website, one of Keeps’ songs, “Wake Up Iowa”, sends a message that “violence and hatred are not the Iowa way, and instead, we need to learn from other cities’ mistakes, so we Do not end violence and crime is being destroyed.
The school’s website states that 70% of the students it serves are minorities, and that it has had 28 graduates since it opened. The school district said the program serves 40 to 50 students at any given time. The district stated that no district employees were on site at the time of the shooting.
Interim Superintendent Matt Smith said in a statement: “We are saddened to learn of another act of gun violence, especially one that affected an organization that works closely with some of our students. We are now We are also waiting to learn more details, but our thoughts are with the victims of this incident and their families and friends.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, who serves on an advisory board for Starts Right Here, said she was “shocked and saddened to hear about the shooting.” Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert is on the Starts Right Here board, according to the program’s website.
“I have seen firsthand how hard Will Keep and his staff work to help at-risk children through this alternative education program,” Reynolds said in a statement. “My heart breaks for them, for these children and their families.”
Nicole Krantz said her office near the school was cordoned off shortly after the shooting, and she saw someone fleeing the building with police on foot and in patrol cars.
“We just saw a lot of police cars coming from everywhere,” Krantz told the Des Moines Register. “It’s terrible. We’re all worried. We went on lockdown, obviously. We were all told to stay away from windows because we weren’t sure if they’d caught the guy.”
According to Education Week, this was the sixth US school shooting this year in which someone was injured or killed, but the first with a death. The website said there were 51 school shootings that involved injuries or deaths last year, and 150 have occurred since 2018. In the worst school shooting last year, 21 people were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Last March, a student was killed and two other teens were badly wounded in a separate shooting outside a Des Moines high school. Ten people – who were between 14 and 18 at the time of the shooting – were later charged. Five of them have pleaded guilty to various charges related to the shooting.
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