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One dead, two injured in shooting at East High School

Police have arrested and charged six teenagers with murder after a shooting at East High School Monday that left one teenager dead and two in critical condition.

According to the Des Moines Police Department, the gunfire came from multiple shooters in multiple vehicles shortly before 3 p.m. A 15-year-old boy was killed, and a 16-year-old girl and 18-year-old girl remain in the hospital in critical condition. The victims have not yet been named.

Des Moines police have identified the six teenagers arrested after the shooting and charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder:

  • Octavio Lopez, 17, of Des Moines
  • Nyang Chamdual, 14, of Des Moines
  • Manuel Buezo, 16, of Des Moines
  • Romero Perdomo, 16, of Des Moines
  • Alex Perdomo, 15, of Des Moines
  • Henry Valladares-Amaya, 17, of Des Moines

School was canceled Tuesday in the wake of the shooting, and Des Moines Public Schools announced that grief counselors will be available to students and staff all week.

“We live in an era when shootings in and near schools have become too common,” said Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Ahart in a statement on the district’s website. “Our staff and students are forced to train for these incidents and the trauma associated with the repeated drills and incidents will remain with them for years to come. It’s unfortunate that our state and our country have become a place where firearms are far too easily accessible. We remain committed to protecting our students and staff, but real change to gun laws and access would go a long way to help us.”

Drake University administration notified students of the shooting at East High, which is located less than 10 minutes from the Drake campus.

“There is no other way to say this—tragedy has once again occurred on the most vulnerable population in our community,” Chief Student Affairs Officer Jerry Parker said in an email Tuesday. “I ask that we lift our hearts up to the families and students that have been impacted from yesterday’s events. During times of tragedy we must look to and lean on others as the greater community navigates the days ahead.”

Update: 3/9/2022, 11:36 AM

The 15-year-old boy killed in a shooting at East High School Monday has been identified as Jose David Lopez of Des Moines. 

The police have not released the names of the two other victims, a 16-year-old girl and an 18-year-old girl, who remain in critical condition.

The White House released a statement Tuesday about the shooting, calling it “yet another tragic shooting”.

“Jill and I pray for his family and for everyone impacted by yet another senseless act of gun violence,” President Joe Biden said in the statement. “A half dozen suspects have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the shooting, and we are grateful to Des Moines law enforcement and first responders for their quick work and professionalism.”

The statement placed the East High shooting in the context of gun violence nationally. 

“Enough. Our young people should be safe in and around school, in their neighborhoods and in their homes,” the statement said. “Every American should be able to visit a house of worship, a grocery store, a night club, or any other place without fear of being gunned down. That too many cannot is a stain on our national character and an urgent call to action.”

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