2nd Update 3/8/22 at 3:31 pm: Des Moines Police identify 15-year-old Jose David Lopez of Des Moines as the fatality in Monday’s shooting outside of East High School. The surviving victims are still hospitalized, but not yet identified.
**Update 3/8/22 at 9:25 am:** Des Moines Police have charged six teenagers with murder for their involvement in Monday’s shooting. See update for further details below the original article.
(Original 3/7/22 – 10:20 pm) DES MOINES, Iowa – One 15-year-old boy is dead, and two teenage girls are hospitalized in critical condition after a shooting outside of Des Moines East High School on Monday afternoon.
At 2:48 p.m. on Monday, the Des Moines Police Department (DMPD) received a report of a shooting with multiple victims.
DMPD, the Des Moines Fire Department, and Des Moines Public Schools’ Public Safety officers arrived on the scene within minutes. The school was placed on lock-down until law enforcement cleared for students to be dismissed at 3:30 p.m.
The 15-year-old boy was not a student at East. The girls, a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old, both attend East.
The names of the victims have not been released at this time.
After the shooting, the 1300 block of Buchanan Street and 800 block of E. 13th Street were closed while police processed the crime scene. Both streets have been reopened.
In a press release on Monday afternoon, Sgt. Paul Parizek, DMPD Public Information Officer, said that potential suspects had been detained, but no charges have been filed. He added that shell casings had been collected and the shooting appeared to be from a passing vehicle. As part of the investigation, DMPD detectives were interviewing witnesses and following leads. On Tuesday evening, he announced that several search warrants were executed in an update.
Parizek said additional agencies assisting in the initial response or the ongoing investigation include the Iowa State Patrol, Polk County Sheriffs Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Des Moines Public Schools Department of Public Safety.
He also noted Monday’s homicide is the fourth in Des Moines in 2022.
Hug your students.
“I think we can all agree an event like this is everyone’s worst nightmare. Tonight, hug your students and love them,” East High School Principal Jill Versteeg told parents on Monday afternoon.
Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) announced no classes would be held at East on Tuesday, March 8, and the district is postponing the ACT for East High juniors until March 29. In addition, parent-teacher conferences are also postponed. The district’s grief team will be available for students and staff starting Wednesday and through the rest of the week.
“We live in an era when shootings in and near schools have become too common,” DMPS Superintendent Thomas Ahart. “Our staff and students are forced to train for these incidents and the trauma associated with the repeated drills and incidents will remain with them for years to come. It’s unfortunate that our state and our country have become a place where firearms are far too easily accessible. We remain committed to protecting our students and staff, but real change to gun laws and access would go a long way to help us.”
Update (3/8/22 at 9:25 a.m.): Des Moines Police overnight executed several residential and vehicle search warrants and recovering six firearms. They said there were multiple shooters firing from multiple cars and six teenagers from Des Moines have been arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
- 17-year-old Octavio Lopez
- 14-year-old Nyang Chamdual
- 16-year-old Manuel Buezo
- 16-year-old Romero Perdomo
- 15-year-old Alex Perdomo
- 17-year-old Henry Valladares-Amaya
The 16-year-old female victim remains hospitalized in serious condition and the 18-year-old victim remains hospitalized in critical condition.
The victims names have not yet been released.