2 Students Dead, 1 Staff Member Injured in Des Moines School Shooting

Authorities say the school shooting was targeted, stemming from an ongoing gang dispute.

2 Students Dead, 1 Staff Member Injured in Des Moines School Shooting

(Photo: fergregory, Adobe Stock)

Des Moines, Iowa – Two teen students were killed and a male adult was injured on Monday in a shooting that happened at an alternative educational program that helps at-risk youth.

The shooting happened just before 1 p.m. at Starts Right Here, reports the Des Moines Register. The educational mentorship program was founded in 2021 by Will Holmes, 49, a rapper who is known by his stage name Will Keeps. Holmes was the adult male injured in the shooting.

Two students, ages 16 and 18, were shot on campus. They were transported to a local hospital where both later died from their injuries. Holmes was also hospitalized with serious injuries and remains in the hospital.

Authorities say the shooting was targeted, stemming from an ongoing gang dispute. Both the shooter and two teen victims are known gang members.

The suspected shooter has been identified as Preston Walls, 18, reports the Associated Press. He was on supervised release for a weapons charge and removed his ankle monitor before the shooting.

According to authorities, all three victims were at the school in a common area when Walls entered the area with a 9mm handgun with an extended ammunition magazine. Holmes attempted to escort the gunman away from the other two students when Walls reportedly pulled out his gun and started shooting the two teen victims. Walls then fled the scene.

He was apprehended by police 20 minutes later, after being tracked by a K-9. Two other people were with Walls when he was arrested but don’t face charges.

The Des Moines Register reports that Starts Right Here is a charter school that helps reengage high school students with behavioral issues. It serves 40-50 students at a time.

Wells has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, reports the Associated Press. He also faces gang charges.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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