Perry, Iowa: A Community in Big Shock After High School Shooting


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.

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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 since 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 think 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 incident 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 within 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 verified by a representative for UnityPoint Health, the facility’s operator.

A colossal convoy of emergency vehicles encircled the structure housing the middle and high schools in the town.

According to his father, Kevin Shelley, Zander Shelley, 15, was waiting for the school day to begin in a corridor when he heard gunshots and hurried inside a classroom. Zander texted his father at 7:36 a.m. after being grazed twice and hiding in the classroom.

Garbage truck driver Kevin Shelley informed his supervisor that he had to leave. He remarked, “It was the most scared I’ve ever been in my entire life.”

Senior Rachael Kares, 18, was finishing up jazz band rehearsal when she and her friends heard four distinct gunshots, according to her account.

“Everyone simply leaped,” Kares remarked. “My band teacher yelled and scowled at us, ‘Leap!'” Thus, we took off running.

Kares heard people screaming, “Get out! Get out!”as she ran by the football field with a large group of other students. She claimed to have heard more gunfire while running, although she was unsure of the exact number. Her primary concern was returning home to her three-year-old son.

She remarked, “I had to get home with my son at that moment, so all I cared about was leaving.”

The Iowa Division of Criminal inquiry was in charge of the inquiry, while FBI agents from the Omaha-Des Moines office were there 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, “”All I want to know is that he’s safe and doing well.” “They refuse to provide me with any details.”

Student told

The 18-year-old Jasmine Augustine was at the high school on Thursday morning, not long after everything had transpired. She stated she was dropping off his brother, who attends the town’s primary 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 in Casey’s convenience store. “I thought it was just one person being stopped,” she remarked.

Augustine said 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 incident 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.


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