Perry High School shooter injures two Iowa students and an administrator on first day back from winter break before turning the gun on themself

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • County Sherriff Adam Infante confirmed at a press conference that police officers arrived at the high school seven minutes after the first call was made 
  • Today is the first day back after the winter break for students at Perry High School – which is located 25 miles northwest of Des Moines, Iowa
  • The number of victims have not yet been confirmed by officials  

A shooting at Perry High School in Iowa left three people injured, including two students and the principal, before the shooter turned the gun on themselves.

There were hundreds of emergency services at the scene – which is 25 miles northwest of Des Moines. Ambulances, police units, air ambulances, and firefighters were called to the school at 7.37am. 

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the shooting, which happened on the first day of classes. The FBI Omaha Des Moines was on the scene, as was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive.

County Sherriff Adam Infante confirmed at a press conference at 11am that police officers arrived at the high school seven minutes after the first call was made.

The first responders found ‘multiple gunshot victims’ inside the school, but Infante said they are still working on confirming the number of victims. He did not confirm if anyone was deceased.

Local news outlet WHO 13 said the shooter, who may be a student, is believed dead from a self-inflicted gun wound.

Perry High School is on lockdown after a shooting was reported just after 7.30am this morning

Dallas County Sherriff Adam Infante confirmed at a press conference at 11am that police officers arrived at the high school seven minutes after the first call was made

Dallas County Sherriff Adam Infante confirmed at a press conference at 11am that police officers arrived at the high school seven minutes after the first call was made

Law enforcement officers work at the scene of a shooting at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa

Law enforcement officers work at the scene of a shooting at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa

Perry High School is taped off as investigators continue to work at the scene of the shooting

Perry High School is taped off as investigators continue to work at the scene of the shooting

It's understood that three people were injured, including a school investigator. One may be fatal

It’s understood that three people were injured, including a school investigator. One may be fatal

Adam Infante said that there were few people in the building at the time of the shooting, because the school day had not started yet.

Infante said there is no further threat to the community. They have identified the shooter, but did not confirm if they are alive or deceased. 

The sherriff said: ‘The community is safe. We are now working backwards, to see what happened.’ 

Today is the first day back after the winter break for the 1,785 students who study at the Perry Community School District. The high school is currently on lockdown. 

The number of potential injuries and victims have not yet been confirmed by police, but ABC reports that one person was killed in the shooting. 

Tearful parents have made their way to McCreary Community Building to be reunited with their children following the shooting this morning. 

Armed police are seen responding to the shooting at the high school

Armed police are seen responding to the shooting at the high school

A line of red and blue flashing police cars are seen outside the school

A line of red and blue flashing police cars are seen outside the school

Two armed officers stand outside the high school following the active shooter investigation

Two armed officers stand outside the high school following the active shooter investigation

Carlos, who is a student at Perry High School, told WHO 13 that he and his friends thought the ‘loud bangs’ were part of a prank at first – before a teacher started screaming at students to ‘leave, leave, leave.’

He said: ‘I heard a couple of bangs, they weren’t loud. We saw loads of people run out. We thought it was a prank or something. We didn’t think it was real at first.’ 

Erica Jolliff said that her daughter, a ninth grader, reported getting rushed from the school grounds at 7.45am. 

Distraught, Jolliff was still looking for her son Amir, a sixth grader, one hour later.

‘I just want to know that he´s safe and OK,’ Jolliff said. ‘They won´t tell me nothing.’

Zander Shelley, 15, was in a hallway waiting for the first day of school after break to start when he heard gunshots and dashed into a classroom, according to his father, Kevin Shelley. 

A woman walks out of the McCreary Community Building, which is the current reunification site for parents to find their children following the Perry School shooting

A woman walks out of the McCreary Community Building, which is the current reunification site for parents to find their children following the Perry School shooting 

People embrace outside the McCreary Community Building where families are being reunited following a shooting at Perry High School

People embrace outside the McCreary Community Building where families are being reunited following a shooting at Perry High School

Children hold hands with a man wearing an Iowa sweatshirt as they are reunited following the shooting

Children hold hands with a man wearing an Iowa sweatshirt as they are reunited following the shooting 

Two people embrace outside the McCreary Community Building, where parents are unifying with their children who were evacuated from the three Perry schools this morning

Two people embrace outside the McCreary Community Building, where parents are unifying with their children who were evacuated from the three Perry schools this morning

Parents make their way out of the reunification point with their children, who were evacuated following the shooting this morning

Parents make their way out of the reunification point with their children, who were evacuated following the shooting this morning

Vivek Ramaswamy bows his head during prayer with community members following a shooting at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa

Vivek Ramaswamy bows his head during prayer with community members following a shooting at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa

Kimberly Chapman, director of faith and revival coalition for Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy attends a prayer with community members following a shooting at Perry High School

Kimberly Chapman, director of faith and revival coalition for Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy attends a prayer with community members following a shooting at Perry High School

Vivek Ramaswamy, who has a campaign event planned in Perry today, wrote on X: 'Pray for the community in Perry, Iowa this morning.' The presidential candidate is expected to continue on with his event today, which is taking place just five minutes away from the high school

Vivek Ramaswamy, who has a campaign event planned in Perry today, wrote on X: ‘Pray for the community in Perry, Iowa this morning.’ The presidential candidate is expected to continue on with his event today, which is taking place just five minutes away from the high school

The teenager was grazed twice and hid in the classroom before texting his dad at 7:36am. 

Kevin Shelley, who drives a garbage truck, told his boss he had to run. ‘It was the most scared I´ve been in my entire life,’ he said.

Rachael Kares, an 18-year-old senior, was wrapping up jazz band practice when she and her bandmates heard what she described as four gunshots, spaced apart.

‘We all just jumped,’ Kares said. ‘My band teacher looked at us and yelled, `Run!´ So we ran.’

Kares and many others from the school ran out past the football field, as she heard people yelling, ‘Get out! Get out!’ 

She said she heard additional shots as she ran, but didn´t know how many. She was more concerned about getting home to her 3-year-old son.

‘At that moment I didn´t care about anything except getting out because I had to get home with my son,’ she said.

Ava Augustus, who is a senior at Perry High School, broke down in tears as she recalled what she saw this morning. Ava said she saw blood everywhere, and she watched a girl with gunshot wounds in her leg be taken out of the auditorium. 

A helicopter has landed on the high school's football pitch (pictured). Shots were reported at 7.37am. Witnesses at the scene reported seeing crying students reuniting with parents near the entrance to the high school

A helicopter has landed on the high school’s football pitch (pictured). Shots were reported at 7.37am. Witnesses at the scene reported seeing crying students reuniting with parents near the entrance to the high school

Shots were first reported at 7.37am on Thursday. 

Perry Elementary School and Perry Middle School – which are nearby to the high school – were evacuated and buildings were cleared by 8.32am. 

There is no active threat in those vicinities. The high school is the focus of the investigation – which was cleared by a team of officers at 8.27am. 

Multiple victims were transported to MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center, a hospital spokesperson confirmed.

Two gunshot victims are being treated at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. 

Just after 9.30am local time, police issued a shelter-in-place warning for people living in Woodward-Granger, a nearby community – but this was soon lifted. 

An Iowa police officer stands outside the high school on Thursday morning

An Iowa police officer stands outside the high school on Thursday morning

A sign informing parents what to do as they arrive at the school is projected at the scene

A sign informing parents what to do as they arrive at the school is projected at the scene

The Dallas County Sheriff's Office confirmed the active shooting investigation - but said no other information is available at this time

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the active shooting investigation – but said no other information is available at this time

Today is the first day back after the winter break for students at Perry High School

Today is the first day back after the winter break for students at Perry High School

One helicopter landed on the high school’s football field. 

Linda Andorf, board president for the Perry Community School District, said: ‘It is horrendously awful. People need to figure out their life. 

‘This is just disgusting. It’s terrible.’

The shooting occurred in the backdrop of the Iowa caucuses and not far from where Republican candidates were campaigning. 

Vivek Ramaswamy, who has a campaign event planned in Perry today, wrote on X: ‘Pray for the community in Perry, Iowa this morning.’

The presidential candidate is expected to continue on with his event today, which is taking place just five minutes away from the high school. 

Senator Chuck Grassley said in the wake of the shooting: ‘Todays appalling violence at Perry HS is heartbreaking Barbara + I are grateful for quick response by school officials &law enforcement to protect students +restore safety. 

‘The Perry community is strong& will band 2gether thru hard time Im here 2help if addtl fed resources needed.’

Perry is a very diverse, working class suburb of Des Moines. 

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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