Des Moines, IA – Police have arrested six teens in connection with the drive-by shooting at East High School on Monday that left a 15-year-old boy dead and 16-year-old and 18-year-old girls in critical condition.
School officials said the 15-year-old boy who died was not a student at East High School, but the two girls who were critically wounded were students there, the Des Moines Register reported.
The incident occurred at about 3 p.m. on March 7 near the northwest corner of the East High School campus just as students were being dismissed for the day.
Police said it was a drive-by shooting and officers collected spent shell casings at the scene, the Des Moines Register reported.
Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek said there were multiple shooters in multiple vehicles that opened fire.
15-year-old boy did not survive his injuries after being shot outside East High School in Des Moines on Monday afternoon. Two young women, one 16 and one 18, also were shot and in critical condition Monday evening. #schoolshooting #schools #guns pic.twitter.com/ZACy2NhOM2
— K-12 School Shooting Database (@K12ssdb) March 8, 2022
Sgt. Parizek said investigators believed the 15 year old who died was the gunmen’s intended target, the Des Moines Register reported.
He said the girls who were wounded were not targeted.
“While this incident occurred outside of a school, it could have occurred in any one of our neighborhoods. The school is where the suspects found their target,” Sgt. Parizek explained to reporters on Monday night.
“Within one hour of the incident, almost all of the suspects were in custody. Within several hours, all were,” he said.
A 15-year-old boy has died and two teenage girls are in critical condition after a shooting outside a Des Moines, Iowa high school Monday.
Police have detained several suspects. pic.twitter.com/w153e0i8Qh
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) March 8, 2022
Police have charged 17-year-old Octavio Lopez, 14-year-old Nyang Chamdual, 16-year-old Manuel Buezo, 16-year-old Romero Perdomo, 15-year-old Alex Perdomo, and 17-year-old Henry Valladares-Amaya with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder, the Des Moines Register reported.
Sgt. Parizek said officers executed five residential search warrants and six vehicle search warrants in Des Moines in connection with the school shooting.
He said authorities had recovered six firearms, the Des Moines Register reported.
Police have not released the identity of the 15 year old who died or the girls who remained hospitalized in critical condition.
Classes were cancelled at East High School on Tuesday, according to the Des Moines Register.
“Our entire community is in mourning right now,” Des Moines Schools Superintendent Thomas Ahart said. “We do not have young lives to spare in Des Moines.”
— Pleasant Hill, IA (@PleasantHillIA) March 8, 2022
Devastating what happened at East High School. Tragedy is never easy. Sending my thoughts and love to the parents, students, teachers, and the East High community as they navigate this difficult time.
— MacKenzie Bills for Iowa House District 40 (@MacKenzieBills) March 8, 2022
Des Moines police agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were assisting in their investigation along with the Iowa State Patrol, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, and the Des Moines Public Schools Department of Public Safety.
“This is a dark day for the city of Des Moines,” Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert told reporters at a media briefing. “Another tragic loss of life. Every one of them is tragic. Every one of them is pointless.”