The Guardian

One student killed, four others injured in Iowa school shooting | Headline News

A teenager armed with a handgun and a shotgun killed a classmate and injured five others at a high school in the midwestern state of Iowa on Thursday, authorities said.

The shooting at about 7:30 a.m. sparked a massive police response, with emergency vehicles and armed units rushing to Perry High School, where classes had not yet begun for the day.

Mitch Mortvedt, deputy chief of the Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said the victim who died was likely a sixth-grader, 11 or 12 years old, attending the high school for the breakfast program.

Four other students and a school administrator were among those injured by the 17-year-old gunman, he added.

Responding authorities also found an improvised explosive device inside the school and decommissioned it.

“Officers immediately worked to determine the source of the threat and located an individual believed to be the shooter with a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Maltvedt told reporters, without confirming media reports that the gunman had died. I discovered it right away,” he said.

High school student Eva Augustus told a local television station that she hid in her classroom during the shooting. After she was told by authorities that the incident was over, she jumped out, but there was “glass everywhere and blood stains on the floor,” she recalled.

“I went to my car and a girl who had been shot in the leg was being taken out of the auditorium,” she told the local NBC affiliate.

Maltvedt said the injuries sustained by the five people were not life-threatening.

Thursday was scheduled to be the first day of classes for the new school year, according to the district's calendar, CNN reported. The school announced Friday classes would be canceled and counseling would be provided to students.

Perry is approximately 35 miles (55 km) from the state capital, Des Moines.

Troubled by school shootings

The day before, another shooting was reported in which a 15-year-old boy allegedly shot and killed a man outside a high school in Virginia. It is unknown whether either of them are students.

Perry is the second school shooting this year, adding to the 182 recorded since 2018, according to a database maintained by the news outlet Education Week.

Gun violence is common in the United States, where there are more firearms than people, and attempts to control its prevalence have always met with fierce political resistance.

According to the non-governmental organization Gun Violence Archive, the country has already seen three mass shootings this year, with a mass shooting defined as one in which four or more people are injured or killed.

Last year ended with a total of 656 similar shootings.

School shootings, in particular, serve as a totemic reminder of the country's political impasse.

In May 2022, a man murdered 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

The Perry shooting incident comes less than two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, the state's first election campaign and the start of the 2024 presidential primary season.

Guns are likely to be a hot topic of debate again this election cycle, but little legislative action is expected.

Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy posted a video on X (formerly Twitter) of him meeting two parents whose daughter attended an elementary school near Perry's that day.

“Our purpose here was to pray and reflect so that something like this never happens again,” Ramaswamy said.


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