(DES MOINES, Iowa) — Two students have died after a shooting at their Des Moines, Iowa, school on Monday, according to police.
The third victim, a school employee, is in serious condition after the shooting at Starts Right Here, a charter school, Des Moines police spokesman Paul Parizek told reporters.
The shooting was reported just before 1 p.m. About 20 minutes later, three potential suspects were taken into custody at a traffic stop about 2 miles away from the school, according to police.
The victims have not been identified.
A motive is unclear, but Parizek said the shooting was “definitely targeted” and “not random.”
Des Moines Public Schools interim Superintendent Matt Smith said in a statement, “We are still waiting to learn more details, but our thoughts are with any victims of this incident and their families and friends. Starts Right Here is a valuable partner to DMPS, doing important work to help us re-engage students, and we stand by to support them during this critical time.”
Mike Beranek, president of the Iowa State Education Association, said in a statement, “We implore our elected leaders to consider effective strategies to eliminate gun violence and pursue concrete solutions that will keep our students, educators, and communities safe. Our schools need to be bastions of safety, not the recipients of violence. This needs to end. As a nation we need to recognize this is societal issue seeping into our schools.”
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement that she’s “shocked and saddened.”
She said she’s seen “first-hand how hard” the school staff “works to help at-risk kids through this alternative education program.”
“My heart breaks for them, these kids and their families,” the governor said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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