Home Local News SCHOOL FOUNDER AMONG VICTIMS IN DES MOINES SHOOTING

SCHOOL FOUNDER AMONG VICTIMS IN DES MOINES SHOOTING

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DES MOINES POLICE SAY AN 18-YEAR-OLD SUSPECT IS CHARGED IN THE SHOOTING DEATHS MONDAY OF TWO TEENS AT AN ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAM.

PRESTON WALLS OF DES MOINES FACES TWO COUNTS OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER AND ONE COUNT OF ATTEMPTED MURDER FOR A SHOOTING THAT TOOK PLACE AT THE NON-PROFIT “STARTS RIGHT HERE.”

DES MOINES POLICE SPOKESPERSON PAUL PARIZEK SAID MONDAY THAT THE SHOOTING HAPPENED JUST BEFORE 1 P.M., AND TWO MALE DES MOINES STUDENTS, AGES 16 AND 18, WERE KILLED.

THEIR NAMES HAVE NOT BEEN RELEASED.

THE PROGRAM’S FOUNDER – LOCAL HIP-HOP ARTIST AND ACTIVIST WILL HOLMES, ALSO KNOWN AS WILL KEEPS — WAS ALSO SHOT IN THE ATTACK.

DES MOINES POLICE SAY PRESTON WALLS ENTERED INTO A COMMON AREA WHERE ALL THREE VICTIMS WERE LOCATED AND HOLMES ATTEMPTED TO ESCORT WALLS FROM THE AREA. WALLS THEN PULLED A NINE-MILLIMETER HANDGUN, AND BEGAN TO SHOOT BOTH TEENAGE VICTIMS AND HOLMES.

WALLS FLED ON FOOT AND LATER FLED FROM A CAR THAT WAS STOPPED BY POLICE, BUT WAS FOUND AND TAKEN INTO CUSTODY WITHOUT INCIDENT.

ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE INDICATES THAT WALLS CUT OFF A COURT-ORDERED G-P-S ANKLE MONITOR, A SUPERVISED PRE-TRIAL RELEASE CONDITION FOLLOWING A WEAPONS CHARGE, APPROXIMATELY 16 MINUTES BEFORE THE SHOOTING.

WALLS AND BOTH THE VICTIMS WHO DIED ARE KNOWN GANG MEMBERS, BELONGING TO OPPOSING GANGS, AND EVIDENCE INDICATES THAT THE SHOOTING WAS COMMITTED AS A RESULT OF AN ONGOING GANG DISPUTE.

POLICE HAVE TWO MORE PEOPLE IN CUSTODY AS THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.

POLICE ORIGINALLY CALLED THE ORGANIZATION A CHARTER SCHOOL, BUT THE DES MOINES SCHOOL DISTRICT SAYS IT IS NOT.

THE SCHOOL RELEASWED A STATEMENT SAYING: “THIS IS A TREMENDOUSLY PAINFUL TIME FOR OUR ENTIRE “STARTS RIGHT HERE” COMMUNITY AS OUR SOLE FOCUS IS TO HELP AT-RISK YOUTH REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.

THESE ACTIONS ARE CONTRARY TO ALL THAT WE STAND FOR AND POINT OUT MORE MUST BE DONE. THESE TWO STUDENTS HAD HOPE AND A FUTURE THAT WILL NEVER BE REALIZED.

WE CAN NO LONGER SAY THIS TYPE OF VIOLENCE DOESN’T HAPPEN IN DES MOINES.

SADLY, IT DOES. HOWEVER, IT WILL NOT STOP US FROM THE WORK THAT WE ARE CALLED TO DO, AND THAT WORK STARTS RIGHT HERE.

WE THANK THE DES MOINES POLICE DEPARTMENT AND FIRST RESPONDERS FOR THEIR SWIFT ACTION. WE ARE FULLY COOPERATING WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN THEIR INVESTIGATION. AND, WE ASK FOR COMMUNITY SUPPORT AS WE GRIEVE FOR THOSE WHO DIED AND FOR ALL THOSE FOREVER IMPACTED BY THIS VIOLENCE”.

CLASSES ARE CANCELLED AT THE SCHOOL FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEK.

PHOTO OF WILL KEEPS FROM SCHOOL WEBSITE