UPDATE: 1 Killed, 7 Injured in Shooting at Perry High School in Iowa

The shooter at Perry High School died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and police discovered an IED on campus.

UPDATE: 1 Killed, 7 Injured in Shooting at Perry High School in Iowa

(Photo: fergregory, Adobe Stock)

UPDATE JANUARY 10, 2024: The number of people injured in the January 4 mass shooting at Perry High School was seven rather than five. The principal, two other staff members, and four other students sustained injuries during the attack. The sixth grader who was killed has been identified as Ahmir Jollif, 11. Jollif’s funeral will be held on Thursday, one week after the shooting, reports the Associated Press

The parents of the gunman said they had no idea their son had plans to shoot up the school. They are cooperating with investigators. The FBI says it didn’t receive any tips about the gunman before he opened fire on campus.

ORIGINAL JANUARY 4, 2024 ARTICLE:

PERRY, Iowa – A sixth grade student was killed and five others were wounded in a shooting at Perry High School on Thursday. The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

The deceased victim attended Perry Middle School, which is connected to Perry High School, reports KCCI. The victim may have been participating in a breakfast program.

The identities of the four student victims who were injured have not been released to the public. However, the administrator who was shot has been identified as Principal Dan Marburger, reports ABC News. The nature and extent of his injuries is not clear.

The gunman has been identified as Dylan Butler, 17, a student at Perry High School. The shooter posted a photo of himself on TikTok shortly before he started his rampage, reports the Des Moines Register. In the photo, Butler was in a bathroom stall with a blue duffle bag. The photo’s caption read, “now we wait.” It was accompanied by a song used on the personal website of one of the Columbine shooters.

His TikTok account has been taken down.

The motive for the mass shooting is being investigated. Two teen girls and their mother said the gunman was bullied relentlessly since elementary school and that it had recently escalated when his younger sister began to be bullied too, reports KCCI.

At the time of the attack, the shooter had with him a pump action shotgun and a small caliber handgun. Police officers also discovered and disposed of an IED on campus, reports the Des Moines Register.

The victims are being treated at Methodist Medical Center and MercyOne and have been reunited with their families, reports CNN.

The shooting happened at 7:37 a.m. on the first day of school after winter break, reports KCCI. It happened about 20 minutes before the start of classes.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded within seven minutes, and Scripps News said two medical helicopters left the campus. Multiple ambulances were also seen entering and then leaving the school, which is located about 40 miles northwest of Des Moines.

Kevin Shelley told the Des Moines Register that his son, Zander, 15, was grazed by two bullets while he was in the school hallway. After being shot, Zander ran into a classroom and hid, reports KCCI. Shelly also said his son saw Marburger get shot.

At the time of the shooting and immediately afterward, students who weren’t already on campus were being turned away. Parents began arriving at about 8:50 a.m. to pick up their children. A nearby elementary school went into lockdown as well. 

The Perry Community School District has canceled all classes for Friday. Counselors were made available at the Perry Public Library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

The investigation is being led by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation with assistance from FBI agents with the Omaha-Des Moines office.

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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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