Police confirm shooting at Perry High School


Police confirm shooting at Perry High School

Law enforcement officials in Perry, Iowa, report that several individuals were shot at the local high school on Thursday, marking the students' first day back from winter break.

Emergency services transported two victims of the gunfire via ambulance to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, located approximately 40 miles southeast of Perry, a community with around 8,000 residents. Dallas County Sheriff Adam Infante clarified that the incident occurred before the scheduled start of classes, resulting in minimal presence of students and faculty at Perry High School.

The individual believed to be the suspect in the shooting has succumbed to what investigators suspect to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, as conveyed by an anonymous law enforcement official to the Associated Press. The official, not authorized to disclose investigation details publicly, shared this information with the AP under conditions of anonymity.

Sheriff Adam Infante held a brief press conference in Perry at 10 a.m., during which he confirmed that authorities had identified the shooter but refrained from disclosing the individual's name. He stated that they were still in the process of determining the exact number of people shot and chose not to provide updates on the condition of those who sustained injuries.

Infante assured the public, stating, "There is no further danger to the public."

The White House is monitoring and acknowledges reports of a shooting at Perry High School in Iowa.

Efforts to reach the Perry School Board's president and vice president through phone messages, along with an email message left for Superintendent Clark Wicks, have not been promptly returned.

KCCI has received reports from numerous parents indicating that students were being turned away upon their arrival this morning. Additionally, several ambulances and air medics have been observed in the vicinity.

Erica Jolliff shared that her ninth-grade daughter recounted being hurried away from the school grounds at 7:45 am. Anxious and distressed, Jolliff continued her search for her sixth-grade son, Amir, an hour later, expressing, "I just want to know that he's safe and OK. They won't tell me anything."

The Dallas County Emergency Management Agency announced a news conference at 10 a.m.

Local radio stations have conveyed that various nearby school districts, including Greene County and Paton-Churdan, have implemented security precautions following the shooting.

More about Perry, Perry Iowa High School 

Perry, situated in Dallas County, has an approximate population of 8,000 and is located nearly 40 miles northwest of Des Moines. The school district serves about 1,800 students in total, with approximately 575 enrolled in grades 9-12.

Parents say 15-year-old son was wounded in Perry school shooting

Kevin Shelley, employed as a garbage truck driver, expressed his urgent need to leave work upon learning about the shooting at Perry High School. He shared, 'It was the most scared I’ve been in my entire life.' Kevin's son, Zander Shelley, aged 15, was in a hallway, awaiting the commencement of the school day, when he heard gunshots. Reacting swiftly, Zander sought refuge in a classroom. Fortunately, he sustained minor injuries, being grazed twice, and concealed himself in the classroom, where he managed to text his father at 7:36 a.m.

Iowa State Education Association: 'We are heartbroken'

The Iowa State Education Association issued the following statement on Thursday morning, delivered by President Mike Beranek and Vice President Joshua Brown:

"We are devastated by this tragic incident and recognize that no words can adequately convey the grief we experience for the victims and the anguish felt by everyone in the community. Perry High School, like schools throughout the state, is a space for education, development, and camaraderie. Iowa's public schools are the lifeblood of our communities, and today, our collective hearts are broken.

During these challenging times, we will continue to support one another, drawing strength from our shared values of resilience, hope, and love in the face of this and numerous other tragedies that have befallen us.

Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) expresses heartfelt sympathy for the Perry community.

Des Moines Public Schools officials issued the following statement on Thursday morning:

"Des Moines Public Schools remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of our school community. We have implemented a comprehensive security framework, including surveillance technology, building design, and a dedicated 15-person public safety staff, operating around the clock, every day of the year. Although the recent incident in Perry appears to be isolated, it underscores the ongoing importance of our continued investment in these safety measures.

Our thoughts are with our fellow educators and the entire Perry community. School shootings, regardless of location, are a cause for concern for those of us in the field of education, as well as for our students and families. Our counseling services are available today to provide support for students or staff members who may need a space to discuss their concerns.

Des Moines police spokesperson says 'No community is immune

Numerous departments, including officials from the Des Moines Police Department, were summoned to the scene.

Sgt. Paul Parizek from the Des Moines Police Department emphasized the significance of inter-agency training for a successful response to such incidents. He stated, "That’s one of the big pieces that make this successful. You have the inter-agency training that starts months and years before you have an incident like this. If you are not ready and not planning, you are behind. No community is immune to this."

Parizek assured the public of a swift response, explaining the multiple tasks involved, such as addressing the shooter, providing assistance to victims, and ensuring the entire school is free from threats.

LifeServe Blood Center provides blood for victims

LifeServe Blood Center is actively supplying blood and blood products to Des Moines area hospitals following the shooting at Perry High School, as per a news release. Serving as the sole blood provider to all hospitals in the area, LifeServe encourages individuals to schedule appointments or walk-in to donate blood at any LifeServe Blood Center location to replenish the products in use.

Stacy Sime, LifeServe Blood Center CEO/President, expressed condolences in a news release, stating, “Our hearts are with our neighbors in Perry impacted by the horrific situation that continues to develop this morning. As the community blood provider, we rely on generous blood donors across our tri-state region to support patients in need but are especially reminded of the importance of donating blood for your neighbors in times of tragedy. We're encouraging community members to donate as soon as they can to help replenish our community blood supply. It's the product on the shelf that saves a patient in need which is why it's so important to have consistent blood donations.”

U.S. Rep. Zach Nunn: 'I'm beyond angry'

Zach Nunn, US Representative from Iowa's 3rd District, which encompasses Perry, issued the following statement Thursday morning:

“After today’s tragic attack at Perry High School, I’ve remained in close contact with first-responders who have indicated to me that the school is now secure.

As a parent and community member, I’m beyond angry. My heart, and my commitment to holding those accountable, is with the community of Perry. We have a duty to protect our children, families, and educators.

I remain in touch with first responders and local leaders in Perry, and I will continue to monitor the situation closely. We will not rest until there is full accountability for this heinous act of violence.”
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