Deadly Shooting at Perry High School in Iowa, Suspect Killed, Police Confirm

PERRY, Iowa (AP) – Several people were shot at Perry, Iowa’s high school on Thursday morning, the first day of classes following the yearly winter vacation, according to police.

Two victims of gunshots were transported by ambulance to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, the state capital, which is located around 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Perry, a town with 8,000 residents. Few students and instructors were present at Perry High School because the incident happened before classes were scheduled to begin, according to Dallas County Sheriff Adam Infante.

According to a law enforcement person who spoke with The Associated Press, the suspect in the incident passed away from what authorities believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The official talked to The AP under condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to publicly disclose the specifics of the inquiry.

The shooting happened close to the Republican presidential contenders’ campaign stops and against the backdrop of the Iowa caucuses.

According to Infante, cops responded to a report of an active shooter at 7:37 a.m. on Thursday and reached the scene after seven minutes. During a press conference, he continued, saying that while cops had found several injured individuals, they were unable to confirm the number or the extent of their injuries. The two gunshot patients who arrived at the hospital in Des Moines were confirmed by a representative for UnityPoint Health, the hospital’s operator.

A massive number of emergency vehicles surrounded the structure that houses both the town’s middle and high schools.

According to his father, Kevin Shelley, Zander Shelley, 15, was in a hallway waiting for the school day to begin when he heard gunshots and rushed into a classroom. Zander was grazed twice and went into the classroom to hide before texting his father at 7:36 a.m.

Kevin Shelley, a garbage truck driver, told his boss he had to leave. “It was the most scared I’ve been in my entire life,” he told me.

Rachael Kares, an 18-year-old senior, was winding up jazz band rehearsal when she and her bandmates heard four gunshots, one after the other.

“Everyone simply leaped,” Kares remarked. “My band instructor glared at us and exclaimed, ‘Leap!'” Thus, we took off running.

Kares heard people screaming, “Get out! Get out!” as she and many other students fled past the football field. She claimed to have heard more shots while running, but she was unsure of the exact number. Her primary concern was returning home to her three-year-old son.

She remarked, “At that point, all I cared about was getting out because I had to get home with my son.”

The Iowa Division of Criminal inquiry was in charge of the inquiry, while FBI agents from the Omaha-Des Moines office were present to assist.

“A number of speculative figures are being circulated,” Perry’s mayor, Dirk Cavanaugh, stated. “At this time, the exact number of participants is not confirmed.”

Nineth-grader Erica Jolliff stated that around 7:45 a.m., she was hurried off the school property. An hour later, Jolliff, distraught, was still hunting for her sixth-grader son Amir.

Jolliff remarked, “I just want to know that he’s safe and okay.” “They won’t give me any information.”

The 18-year-old Jasmine Augustine was at the high school on Thursday morning, not long after everything had happened. She said she was dropping off his brother, who attends the town’s elementary school around a mile (1.61 kilometers) away, and a buddy at the high school.

“I watched one automobile go by quickly when I was at Casey’s convenience store. “I assumed it was just an individual being stopped,” she remarked.

Augustine claimed that she was informed there was an active shooter when she arrived at the high school, “and then we hurried up and left.”

Augustine, whose sister attends the high school but wasn’t in the area where the incident occurred, said, “After that, there’s just tons and tons and tons of cops who came.” After that, Jasmine and her father went to the armory to pick up her sister.

The 1,785-student Perry Community School District includes the high school. The town of Perry has a more diversified population than the state of Iowa overall, with 31% of its citizens being Hispanic, compared to less than 7% for the state, according to census data. Additionally, according to those statistics, around 19% of the town’s citizens were foreign-born.

The shooting happened close to the Republican candidates’ campaign stops and against the backdrop of the Iowa Caucuses.

Emails and phone calls to Superintendent Clark Wicks and the president and vice president of the Perry School Board were not promptly replied.