Police in Perry, Iowa, say multiple people were shot at the city’s high school Thursday, early on students’ first day back in classes after their annual winter break.
Two gunshot victims were taken by ambulance to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in the state capital of Des Moines, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Perry, a community of about 8,000 people. Dallas County Sheriff Adam Infante said the shooting occurred before school was set to start, so there were few students and faculty in Perry High School.
The suspect in the shooting has died of what investigators believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity.
The shooting occurred in the backdrop of the Iowa caucuses and not far from where Republican candidates were campaigning.
An active shooter was reported at 7:37 a.m. Thursday morning and officers arrived seven minutes later, Infante said. He added during a news conference that officers located multiple people with injuries, but couldn’t confirm how many there were or their conditions. A spokeperson for UnityPoint Health, which operates the Des Moines hospital, confirmed the two gunshot victims arriving there.
An enormous number of emergency vehicles surrounded the building that houses both the town’s middle school and high school.
Zander Shelley, 15, was in a hallway waiting for the school day to start when he heard gunshots and dashed into a classroom, according to his father, Kevin Shelley. Zander was grazed twice and hid in the classroom before texting his father at 7:36 a.m.