17-year-old Killed | High School in Perry, Iowa, killed a sixth grader and wounded five in school shooting

On Thursday, January 4, 2024, police are called to Perry High School in Perry, Iowa. The city's high school is the scene of a gunshot, according to the police.
Source: wsaz.com | On Thursday, January 4, 2024, police are called to Perry High School in Perry, Iowa. The city’s high school is the scene of a gunshot, according to the police.

Before classes returned on the first day following winter break, a 17-year-old opened fire at a small-town high school in Iowa. Five people were wounded and a sixth grader was killed as classmates panicked and barricaded offices.

Just as children were returning to school following their winter vacation, a shooter opened fire at a high school in Perry, Iowa, early on Thursday morning, killing one student in the sixth grade and injuring five others.

At a press conference on Thursday, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Mitch Mortvedt stated that four of the injured were students and one was an administrator. A critically injured victim was among them.

The principle of Perry High School, where the incident occurred, Dan Marburger, was named by the Easton Valley Community School District as the administrator. The names of more fatalities were kept under wraps by officials.

According to Mr. Mortvedt, the shooter, Dylan Butler, a 17-year-old high school student, killed himself with a gunshot wound. Law enforcement authorities stated that they did not yet know the motivation for the crime, but they suspect he acted alone.

According to an official with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the suspect, a student at the Perry school, died from what they believe to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Dan Marburger, the principal of Perry High School, was subsequently recognised by his alma school as one of the five wounded individuals, according to the authorities.

Dylan Butler, 17, was named as the gunman by the authorities, who withheld any details on his potential motivation. Speaking with The Associated Press, two friends and their mother described Butler as a reserved individual who had endured years of bullying.

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Perry is located on the border of the state capital’s metropolitan region, around 40 miles (65 km) northwest of Des Moines and home to about 8,000 people. It is home to a major pork-processing facility and low-slung, single-story dwellings distributed among trees now shorn of their leaves by winter. On the east side of the town, there is a connection between the middle and high schools.

Butler, according to the authorities, had a small-caliber pistol and a pump-action shotgun. During a press briefing, assistant director of the state investigation division Mitch Mortvedt stated that officials had also discovered and made safe a “pretty rudimentary” improvised explosive device.

According to Mortvedt, officials are also investigating the suspect’s motive and “a number of social media posts” he made around the time of the killing.

Butler’s acquaintances are being questioned by federal and state authorities, according to a law enforcement person informed on the case, and Butler’s social media accounts, including posts on Reddit and TikTok, are being examined.

Butler shared a picture of himself inside Perry High School’s lavatory on TikTok just before Thursday’s shooting, according to the official. The German band KMFDM’s song “Stray Bullet” was playing as the image with the message, “now we wait.” The person, who spoke to AP under condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to publicly discuss the specifics of the inquiry, said that investigators had also discovered further images Butler uploaded in which he was seen posing with guns.

Along with their mother Alita, sisters Yesenia Roeder and Khamya Hall, both 17, said that Butler had been the target of constant bullying since elementary school. However, things suddenly became worse when Butler’s younger sister began to be teased as well. Butler added that his parents’ discussion of it with the school was the “final straw.”

“He was in pain.” He grew weary. He became weary of the intimidation. He became weary of the abuse, according to 17-year-old Yesenia Roeder Hall. Was shooting up the school a wise decision? No. God, no.

Clark Wicks, the superintendent of Perry Community Schools, did not take calls on Thursday, and an email requesting comment was not promptly responded. Neither did school board members.

Ava Augustus, a senior at Perry High School, claimed she heard three gunshots while waiting for a counsellor in an office. She and the others blocked the entrance and prepared to throw objects if needed because they were unable to escape through the little window.

“Then, we hear, ‘He’s down.'” “You are free to leave,” Augustus cried. “As I run, glass is all over the place, and there is blood on the ground.” When I arrive to my car, they are removing a female who was shot in the leg from the theatre.

A spokesman for Iowa Methodist Medical Centre in Des Moines confirmed that three gunshot victims were receiving treatment there. According to a MercyOne Des Moines Medical Centre spokesman, more patients were sent to another hospital.

According to Mortvedt, one person was in serious condition, but the other people’s wounds didn’t seem to be life-threatening.

Thursday night, hundreds of people flocked to a park where students had been sent to be reunited with their families following the killing, for a candlelight prayer vigil. They listened to pastors of many religions and heard a message of hope in both Spanish and English while bundled up against the bitter cold.

The high school will be closed on Friday, according to a statement on its Facebook page, but counselling services would still be accessible for staff, students, and community members.

Governor Kim Reynolds declared, “This senseless tragedy has shaken our entire state to its core.”

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and President Joe Biden were informed on the shooting in Washington.

The incident took place prior to Iowa’s first-ever national presidential caucuses on January 15. Vivek Ramaswamy, the Republican candidate, cancelled his planned 9 a.m. campaign event in Perry, which is around 1 1/2 miles (2 km) from the school in order to have a private conversation and prayer with the locals.

Gun safety activists have always demanded tougher gun legislation in response to mass shootings in the United States, and Thursday’s did so within hours. However, many Republicans have not been sold on that premise, especially in rural, GOP-leaning areas like Iowa.

Iowa will no longer need a permit to buy a handgun or carry one in public as of July 2021, but those who do so will still need to submit to a background check.

The incident, according to Ramaswamy, is indicative of a “psychological sickness” in the nation. In an interview with the Des Moines Register and NBC News, GOP challenger and governor of Florida Ron DeSantis stated that gun violence “is more of a local and state issue” in Des Moines.

The 1,785-student Perry Community School District includes the high school. Compared to the state of Iowa, Perry is more diversified. According to census data, 31% of its citizens identify as Hispanic, compared to fewer than 7% of the state’s total.

According to those statistics, around 19% of the town’s citizens were foreign-born.

At 7:37 a.m. on Thursday, there was a report of an active shooter, and according to the authorities, police responded minutes later. The complex was encircled by emergency vehicles.

According to Mortvedt, “officers swiftly tried to identify the source of the threat and discovered what appeared to be the shooter with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

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

“Everyone simply leaped,” Kares remarked. “My band instructor glared at us and exclaimed, ‘Leap!'” Thus, we took off running.

Kares and several others hurried past the football pitch while shouts of “Leave! Leave!” could be heard. She claimed to have heard more gunfire, although she was unsure of the exact number. Her primary concern was returning home to her three-year-old son.

According to his father, Kevin Shelley, Zander Shelley, 15, was in a corridor when he heard gunshots and quickly ran into a classroom. After getting grazed twice, Zander fled to the classroom and texted his dad.

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.”

Later, he shared a picture of his kid receiving treatment at Methodist Medical Centre on Facebook, stating that the youngster was doing well.

“I am still shaking, and even though I don’t show it, I’m not OK,” he continued.

Fingerhut provided updates from Iowa’s Sioux City. This story was assisted by Associated Press writers Scott McFetridge and photojournalist Andrew Harnik from Perry, Iowa; Jim Salter from O’Fallon, Missouri; and Josh Funk from Omaha, Nebraska. Mike Balsamo from New York City; John Hanna from Topeka, Kansas; Lindsay Whitehurst from Washington; and Trisha Ahmed from Minneapolis. From New York City, AP researcher Rhonda Shafner provided contributions.