Home NewsU.S. News Arrest made after Des Moines students killed in shooting at Iowa outreach center

Arrest made after Des Moines students killed in shooting at Iowa outreach center

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Arrest made after Des Moines students killed in shooting at Iowa outreach center


Des Moines police have arrested and charged an 18-year-old in connection to a Monday shooting that killed two students and injured an adult. The shooting was reported at about 12:53 pm at Starts Right Here, a nonprofit organization focused on helping at -risk youth. Starts Right Here was created by activist and rapper Will Keeps. The outreach center is located at 455 Southwest 5th St. Starts Right Here has been a partner of Des Moines Public Schools since 2021. They serve between 40-50 DMPS students at a time. No DMPS staff were onsite at the time of the shooting. According to police, three people were shot. Two male students were taken to the hospital with critical injuries. They have since died. A third person, identified as Keeps, was transported to the hospital in serious condition. Keeps was taken into surgery on Monday afternoon. Police say the students killed were an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old. City of Des Moines mourns two students killed in deadly shooting Police have arrested 18-year-old Preston Walls, of West Des Moines, in connection with the shooting. Walls is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of criminal gang participation. Police say evidence in the investigation indicates that Walls was present at Starts Right Here with a 9mm handgun. Keeps attempting to escort Walls from the building. Walls shot both teenage victims and Keeps and fled the scene on foot. Police say they saw a suspicious vehicle leave the scene. Approximately 20 minutes after the shooting, police conducted a traffic stop on that vehicle. Two people remained in the vehicle while Walls fled on foot. Officers followed Walls into a wooded area and had K-9 units sniffing the scene. Walls was later taken into custody without incident. Walls was booked into the Polk County Jail. The two other people remain in police custody. They have not been identified. Police say that evidence also indicates that Walls cut off a court-ordered GPS ankle monitor about 16 minutes before the shooting. Watch: Des Moines police give update on shooting that killed 2 students Sgt. Paul Parizek with the DMPD said that the shooting was a targeted incident. Police say Walls and both deceased victims are gang members, and evidence indicates that the shooting is related to an ongoing gang dispute. The DMPD is expected to give an update on the shooting Tuesday at 10 am at Des Moines City Hall. The investigation is ongoing. The Starts Right Here Board of Directors released this statement in response to the shooting: “We are heartbroken and angry that two of our students were shot and killed this afternoon. Will Keeps, founder and president of Starts Right Here, a nonprofit educational program, was also shot and is in surgery tonight. Our prayers are with Will, and the families and friends of all those involved in this tragedy. “This is a tremendously painful time for our entire Starts Right Here community, as our sole focus is to help at-risk youth reach their full potential. These actions are contrary to all that we stand for and point out more must be done. These two students had hope and a future that will never be realized. We can no longer say this type of violence doesn’t happen in Des Moines. Unfortunately, it does. However, it will not stop us from the work that we are called to do, and that work starts right here. “We thank the Des Moines Police Department and first responders for their swift action. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation. And, we ask for community support as we grieve for those who died and for all those forever impacted by this violence “Classes are canceled for the remainder of the week. However, grief counselors will be at the Kurtz Building tomorrow (1000 Porter Avenue) to meet with students.” Gov. Kim Reynolds released this statement in response to 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 work 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. ” Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Matt Smith released this statement in response to the shooting: “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 still waiting to learn more details, but our thoughts are with any victims of this incident and their families and friends. Starts Right Here is a valuable partner to DMPS, doing important work to help us re-engage students, and we stand by to support them during this critical time.” Rep. Zach Nunn released this statement on Twitter in response to the shooting: “Horrific attack on students & educators at the incredible Starts Right Here non-profit helping at-risk kids. Proud to work with this incredible team for years & stand with them in this tragedy. Grateful to DMPD & first responders for rapid response. Prayers for all involved.”Correction: KCCI has corrected that Starts Right Here is a nonprofit organization, not a charter school. Previous coverage:

DES MOINES, Iowa —

Des Moines police have arrested and charged an 18-year-old in connection with a Monday shooting that killed two students and injured an adult.

The shooting was reported at about 12:53 pm at Starts Right Here, a nonprofit organization focused on helping at-risk youth. Starts Right Here was created by activist and rapper Will Keeps. The outreach center is located at 455 Southwest 5th St.

Starts Right Here has been a partner of Des Moines Public Schools since 2021. They serve between 40-50 DMPS students at a time. No DMPS staff were on site at the time of the shooting.

According to the police, three people were shot. Two male students were taken to the hospital with critical injuries. They have since died. A third person, identified as Keeps, was transported to the hospital in serious condition. Keeps was taken into surgery on Monday afternoon.

Police say the students killed were an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old.

City of Des Moines mourns two students killed in deadly shooting

Police have arrested 18-year-old Preston Walls, of West Des Moines, in connection with the shooting. Walls is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of criminal gang participation.

Police say evidence in the investigation indicates that Walls was present at Starts Right Here with a 9mm handgun. Keeps attempting to escort Walls from the building. Walls shot both teenage victims and Keeps and fled the scene on foot.

Police say they saw a suspicious vehicle leave the scene. Approximately 20 minutes after the shooting, police conducted a traffic stop on that vehicle. Two people remained in the vehicle while Walls fled on foot. Officers followed Walls into a wooded area and had K-9 units sniffing the scene. Walls was later taken into custody without incident.

Walls was booked into the Polk County Jail.

The two other people remain in police custody. They have not been identified.

Police say that evidence also indicates that Walls cut off a court-ordered GPS ankle monitor about 16 minutes before the shooting.

Watch: Des Moines police give update on shooting that killed 2 students

Sgt. Paul Parizek with the DMPD said that the shooting was a targeted incident. Police say Walls and both deceased victims are gang members, and evidence indicates that the shooting is related to an ongoing gang dispute.

The DMPD is expected to give an update on the shooting Tuesday at 10 am at Des Moines City Hall.

The investigation is ongoing.

The Starts Right Here Board of Directors released this statement in response to the shooting:

“We are heartbroken and angry that two of our students were shot and killed this afternoon. Will Keeps, founder and president of Starts Right Here, a nonprofit educational program, was also shot and is in surgery tonight. Our prayers are with Will, and the families and friends of all those involved in this tragedy.

“This is a tremendously painful time for our entire Starts Right Here community, as our sole focus is to help at-risk youth reach their full potential. These actions are contrary to all that we stand for and point out more must be done. These two students had hope and a future that will never be realized. We can no longer say this type of violence doesn’t happen in Des Moines. Sadly, it does. However, it will not stop us from the work that we are called to do, and that work starts right here.

“We thank the Des Moines Police Department and first responders for their swift action. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation. And, we ask for community support as we grieve for those who died and for all those forever impacted by this violence .

“Classes are canceled for the remainder of the week. However, grief counselors will be at the Kurtz Building tomorrow (1000 Porter Avenue) to meet with students.”

Gov. Kim Reynolds released this statement in response to 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 work 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.”

Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Matt Smith released this statement in response to the shooting:

“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 still waiting to learn more details, but our thoughts are with any victims of this incident and their families and friends. Starts Right Here is a valuable partner to DMPS, doing important work to help us re-engage students, and we stand by to support them during this critical time.”

Rep. Zach Nunn released this statement on Twitter in response to the shooting:

“Horrific attack on students & educators at the incredible Starts Right Here non-profit helping at-risk kids. Proud to work with this incredible team for years & stand with them in this tragedy. Grateful to DMPD & first responders for rapid response. Prayers for all involved.”

Correction: KCCI has corrected that Starts Right Here is a nonprofit organization, not a charter school.

Previous coverage:

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