Police in Perry, Iowa, Say ‘Multiple Gunshot Victims’ at School

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The police in Perry, Iowa, said there were multiple victims in a school shooting early Thursday morning just as students were arriving back to school after their winter break.

Sheriff Adam Infante said at a news conference on Thursday that there was no further threat to the public. He would not say if the shooter was dead or captured. He said that the shooter had been identified but did not reveal the identity.

Sheriff Infante said a call came in of an active shooter just after 7:30 a.m. and emergency responders arrived at Perry High School, about 40 miles northwest of Des Moines, just seven minutes later.

“School didn’t start yet 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.

Agents from the Kansas City office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting, the agency said.

Ava Augustus, a senior at Perry High School, told WHO 13 News that she was in her counselor’s office when she heard three gunshots. When they got the all-clear, she saw a student being taken out of the auditorium who had been shot in the leg as well as “glass everywhere” and “blood on the floor.”

Jody Kurth told KCCI 8 News, a local CBS affiliate, that her stepson, a student at Perry High School, was hurt in the shooting, and Ms. Kurth described the morning attack as “an absolute nightmare.” Her daughter texted her to let her know about the shooter, she said, calling it “one of the worst moments of my entire life.”

Both children were safe, she told KCCI.

At a community center in Perry, a bus dropped off students from the elementary school, where parents waited for their children to arrive. One of the first parents was Amanda Woods, 34, a mother of two young sons.

“At first I wasn’t sure which school it was at,” said Ms. Woods, who had been listening to the police scanner to get more information of the shooting. “I was freaking out.”

The small community of Perry, where about 8,000 people live, had already been swarmed with attention of national media on Thursday: The Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy held a scheduled campaign event in Perry amid reports of the shooting. The candidate led a prayer circle as attendees expressed fear, but little surprise.

“God please help our country,” said Mr. Ramaswamy as he addressed the prayer event and shook hands with everyone, calling it a “somber day.”

Mr. Ramaswamy was in Iowa ahead of the state’s Republican caucuses, scheduled for Jan. 15.

In a statement on social media, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa called the “appalling violence” at Perry High School “heartbreaking” and thanked school and law enforcement officials for their quick response.

Shelbie Lehman came into Mr. Ramaswamy’s event with her partner after picking up her first grade daughter from elementary school after hearing about the shooting at the high school.

“It’s very scary having them walk your kid out with a gun and officer, and having seven, eight cops there,” Ms. Lehman told Mr. Ramaswamy.

Ms. Lehman said it was hard to explain to her daughter why there were so many police and why she was picked up from school. She said she planned to try explain things to her daughter later today as best she could.

The Perry Community School District said the high school, middle school and elementary school would be closed on Friday.

This is a developing story.

Remy Tumin and Victor Mather reported from New York. Molly Longman and Leah McBride Mensching contributed reporting from Perry, Iowa.

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