East High School shooting: Who is the Des Moines shooter? Teen dead, 2 wounded
A 15-year-old died while 16 and 18-year-olds are in critical condition after a drive-by attack in Des Moines, Iowa
A 15-year-old has died after being shot in a drive-by attack in Des Moines, Iowa on March 7, 2022. In the same attack, a 16 and 18-year-old were critically wounded, and are still in hospital in a serious condition, reports say. The violent crime occurred at the East High School in the city, just as classes were dismissed for the day. The school is reportedly the seventh-largest in the state and just half a mile from Iowa's State Capitol.
Back in February, one Illinois-based firm launched an AR-15 for children, dubbed the JR-15. That came just days after Remington Arms' historic $73m settlement with victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting, The two stories indicate the wide gulf between how the Republicans and Democrats want to address the issue of gun violence, despite several children dying in 2022 alone, such as 8-year-old Ronziyah Atkins of Florida.
According to Education Week, 11 school shootings have been reported in 2022 alone, well over a quarter of the number of shootings in 2021. It indicates that if we don't act now, we could top 2021's number of 34 shooting incidents in schools. The March 7 shooting is the 12th one in 2022.
Who are the shooters?
At the moment, police have not yet confirmed the identity of the suspects but noted that "several" were taken into custody shortly after the shooting. Des Moines police confirmed that they were detained on school grounds, but are yet to press charges. According to reports, as the students were leaving the campus, three teenagers were struck by gunfire that appeared to come from a passing car.
The school was immediately placed in lockdown, but students were let go after about 40 minutes. The three students struck included a boy, who succumbed to his injuries in the hospital, and two girls who are in a critical condition. Their identities too have not been released, but police did confirm the two girls were students at the school while the boy was not. As a result of the shooting, classes have been canceled on March 8, with grief counseling available for those that need it.
"I was just sitting in my friend’s car and then all of the sudden I heard 11 gunshots and some boys screaming," one student told KCCI about the incident. In a statement, the school's principal added, "I think we can all agree an event like this is everyone's worst nightmare. Tonight, hug your students and love them." The Des Moines Superintendent added, "It’s unfortunate that our state and our country have become a place where firearms are far too easily accessible."
An investigation is now underway, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms also helping local law enforcement. We will update this story when the identities of the shooters are confirmed.