US

Student armed with shotgun kills child and injures five others at Iowa school

Three people have been injured after a school shooting in Iowa, police have said.

Dallas County Sheriff Adam Infante said there is no further risk to the public after the attack took place before classes had begun.

“Luckily, so there were very few students and faculty in the building, which I think contributed to a good outcome in that sense,” he said at a news briefing.

The shooter is believed to have died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot and may have been a student, according to Sky News’ US partner network NBC News.

The three injured include two students and an administrator, Sheriff Infante said.

The shooting took place at about 7.30am local time (1;30pm UK time) at Perry High School and officers arrived seven minutes later, the sheriff added.

A huge amount of emergency vehicles surrounded the building that houses both the town’s middle school and high school after the shooting.

Police respond to the Perry High School shooting
Image:
Police respond to the Perry High School shooting

‘The most scared I have been in my entire life’

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 7:36am.

Kevin Shelley, who drives a garbage truck, told his boss he had to leave work.

“It was the most scared I’ve been in my entire life,” he said.

Families are reunited at a community building following the shooting at Perry High School, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024, in Perry, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Families are reunited at a community building following the shooting at Perry High School. Pic: AP

Mother’s desperate search for son

Erica Jolliff said that her daughter, a ninth grader, reported getting rushed from the school grounds at 7:45am.

Distraught, Ms Jolliff was still looking for her son Amir, a sixth grader, one hour later.

“I just want to know that he’s safe and OK,” she said. “They won’t tell me nothing.”

Police respond to Perry High School in Perry, Iowa., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. Police say there has been a shooting at the city's high school.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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Perry High School in Iowa. Pic: AP

‘One of our teaches started screaming at us’

A student named only as Carlos, who was outside the school at the time of the shooting, told NBC News: “I just heard a couple of bangs, not really gunshots. They were not very loud.

“We saw a bunch of kids running and we asked what happened… one of my girlfriend’s friends said it was a shooting, there was a shooter with a gun, and we got scared, we thought it was a prank or something.

“That’s when a bunch of cops started coming and we knew it was serious, we were trying to leave and one of our teachers started screaming at us. That’s when we knew it was serious.”

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Police respond to Perry High School in Perry, Iowa., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. Police say there has been a shooting at the city's high school.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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Perry High School in Iowa. Pic: AP

US president Joe Biden is tracking the latest on the Iowa shooting, a White House official said, adding that senior staff have been in touch with the Iowa governor’s office.

The shooting occurred on what was to be the first day of the spring semester, according to the school district’s calendar.

Perry, a town of about 7,900, is about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Des Moines, the state’s capital city.

The shooting comes days before the Iowa caucuses, which will kick off the process of Republicans choosing their nominee to run for president in the 2024 US election.

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