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Six Des Moines teens are charged in Monday's fatal shooting outside East High

Madeleine King
Des Moines police said one person has died and two others are hospitalized following a shooting outside of East High School Monday afternoon.

This story is developing and will be updated.

Update Tuesday, March 8, 8:15 p.m.

The Polk County Attorney’s office has filed first degree murder charges against the six teens involved in the fatal shooting of Jose David Lopez outside of East High School on Monday afternoon. Each were also charged with attempted murder by critically injuring two female East High School students, who are both currently in local hospitals.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators say the six teens drove to the school together in three cars. Investigators found approximately 20 spent shell casings near the school grounds and an additional 15 in the cars. The Polk County Attorney’s office said the facts presented in the criminal complaint “demonstrate that the participants were acting in concert with one another in preparation and execution of this fatal shooting.”

President Joe Biden released a statement condemning the shootings that came less than a month after the four-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“Between these tragedies are shootings that happen every day without making headlines. Enough. Our young people should be safe in and around school, in their neighborhoods, and in their homes,” Biden said.

Update Tuesday, March 8, 2:30 p.m.

Des Moines Police have released the name of the person killed yesterday in a shooting outside East High School in Des Moines: 15-year-old Jose David Lopez of Des Moines.

The six teens charged for his murder and two counts of attempted murder are all Des Moines residents:

  • Octavio Lopez, 17, not enrolled at Des Moines Public Schools
  • Nyang Chamdual, 14, freshman at Hoover High School
  • Manuel Buezo, 16, junior at Hoover High School
  • Romero Perdomo, 16, formerly enrolled at North High School
  • Alex Perdomo, 15 (The school district does not have permission to release Perdomo’s enrollment information)
  • Henry Valladares-Amaya, 17, formerly enrolled at Hoover High School

Police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek said the charges for first degree murder were directly filed to adult court.

Update Tuesday, March 8, 9:45 a.m.

Six Des Moines teenagers have been charged in connection with the shooting outside of the city’s East High School yesterday. They range in age from 14 to 17. Each was charged with one count of murder in the first degree and two counts of attempted murder.

In a news release this morning, police said last night they executed five residential search warrants, six vehicle search warrants and recovered six firearms. They determined the shooting that killed a 15-year-old boy and critically injured two teenage girls, ages 16 and 18, was done by multiple shooters in multiple vehicles. Police this morning said the 16-year-old is now in serious condition.

Police said the boy who died was targeted by the shooters. The two young women were not.

In a Des Moines Police Facebook post this morning, a spokesperson said, “While this incident occurred outside of a school, it could have occurred in any one of our neighborhoods. The school is where the suspects found their target.”

Update Monday, March 7, 8 p.m.

Des Moines Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Paul Parizek has confirmed the death of a 15-year-old boy outside of East High School, however he was not a student at the school. The two other victims, both female, 16 and 18 years old are still currently in local hospitals in critical condition. Both of them are East High School students.

The investigation, which includes shell casings from the scene, is ongoing with multiple agencies assisting including: the Iowa State Patrol, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Des Moines Public Schools Department of Public Safety. DMPD says they are executing multiple search warrants.

According to the Des Moines Police Department, there are suspects detained, but no charges have been filed.

The shooting in a parking lot outside of the high school Monday afternoon drew reaction from state and national representatives. U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, whose district includes Des Moines, expressed her sympathy for the victims and their families in a press release.

“Instances of gun violence and school shootings happen far too often in this country and our kids deserve better. There are no words to express how it feels to see something like this unfold in your own community,” she said.

Iowa State Education Association President Mike Beranek also expressed his condolences for the community, saying, “Violence of any kind against our precious children is unacceptable.”

Chloe Gayer, a National Advisory Board Member and volunteer with Students Demand Action in Iowa called the shooting a senseless tragedy.

“These tragedies cannot continue to happen. We need real solutions that address gun violence and keep students safe – we’ll keep fighting until that is a reality,” she said in a press release.

Des Moines Public Schools district announced it will postpone the ACT for East High juniors until March 29. Parent-teacher conferences are also postponed.

Original story

Three teenagers were shot outside of East High School in Des Moines Monday afternoon at approximately 2:48.

Des Moines Police say one has died and the other two are in critical condition. According to Des Moines Fire Department spokesperson Ahman Douglass, the boy who died was 15 years old.

Police say the gunfire appears to have come from a passing car, and they have detained potential suspects.

At the State Capitol, a moment of silence was held for the victims. Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines, D-Des Moines, used to teach at the school.

“So I would like this moment of silence for all of those students. Even though you may not know them and they may not be related to you, they are all God’s children.”

The school was immediately put into lockdown, and students were released around 3:30 after police gave the school the all clear.

East High announced classes are canceled tomorrow and a grief team will be available for students and staff through the week.

In a press release, East High principal Jill Versteeg said "I think we can all agree an event like this is everyone’s worst nightmare. Tonight, hug your students and love them.”

Police say there are no further threats in the area. There will be updates to the case later this evening.

This is a developing story. IPR will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene, and we will update as the situation develops. Some facts that are initially reported may later turn out to be wrong as more is reported.

Kassidy was a reporter based in Des Moines