Student gunman, 17, kills child and injures several others in Iowa school shooting

4 January 2024, 22:13

The gunman was a student at the Iowa school.
The gunman was a student at the Iowa school. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

One student has died and five others have been injured in a school shooting in Iowa, police have said.

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The shooting took place at around 7:30 local time on Thursday as pupils returned to school for their first day after the winter break. Officers arrived at the scene seven minutes later.

A sixth grader was shot fatally during the attack, their school year means they would have been aged 11 or 12.

Five others, four students and a school administrator, were also shot. One is in critical condition.

The gunman Dylan Butler, 17, was a student at the school.

He showed up to the grounds on Thursday morning with a pump-action shotgun and handgun. Police said he had been making posts to social media around the time of the attack.

He later turned the gun on himself after the attack, according to reports.

Two of the gunshot victims were taken to Iowa Methodist Medical Centre in the state capital of Des Moines, about 40 miles southeast of Perry, a community of about 8,000 people.

Dallas County sheriff Adam Infante said the shooting happened before school started and that there was no further risk to the public.

The suspect in the shooting has died of what investigators believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

"Luckily, there were very few students and faculty in the building, which I think contributed to a good outcome in that sense," Sheriff Infante said.

Mr Infante added during a news conference that officers located several people with injuries, but could not confirm how many there were or their conditions.
Mr Infante added during a news conference that officers located several people with injuries, but could not confirm how many there were or their conditions. Picture: Alamy

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Emergency vehicles surrounded the building, which houses both the town's middle school and high school.

A student named Carlos, who was outside when the shooting took place, told NBC News: "I just heard a couple of bangs, not really gunshots. They were not very loud.

"We saw a bunch of kids running and we asked what happened…one of my girlfriend's friends said it was a shooting, there was a shooter with a gun, and we got scared, we thought it was a prank or something.

"That's when a bunch of cops started coming and we knew it was serious, we were trying to leave and one of our teachers started screaming at us."

Iowa's governor, Kim Reynolds wrote on X "Our hearts are broken by this senseless tragedy. Our prayers are with the students, teachers & families of the Perry Community.

"I have been in contact with law enforcement agencies & am continuing to monitor the situation. I will be joining their press conference today."

Zander Shelley, 15, was in a hallway waiting for the school day to start when he heard gunshots, according to his father, Kevin Shelley.

Zander was grazed twice before he found shelter in a classroom and texted his father at 7.36am.

Rachael Kares, 18, was finishing jazz band practice when she and her bandmates heard what she described as four gunshots, spaced apart.

"We all just jumped," Ms Kares said. "My band teacher looked at us and yelled, 'Run!' So we ran."

Perry Elementary School said there will be no school on Friday but will be offering counselling services to those in need.

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