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Iowa police say Grade 6 student killed, 17-year-old suspect dead in Iowa school shooting

A 17-year-old opened fire at a small-town Iowa high school on the first day of school after the winter break, killing a Grade 6 student and wounding five others as students barricaded in offices and fled in panic.

Police responded to gunfire reports as students prepared for classes after break

Multiple police vehicles lined up in the distance as a group of people walk toward a school signboard.

A 17-year-old opened fire at a small-town Iowa high school on the first day of school after the winter break, killing a Grade 6 student and wounding five others as students barricaded themselves in offices and fled in panic.

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Mitch Mortvedt, an assistant director with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said an active shooter was reported at 7:37 a.m. and officers arrived minutes later to find students and faculty either sheltering in place or fleeing the school.

Mortvedt said officers entered the school to find multiple people with gunshot wounds and then "quickly found what appeared to be the shooter with a self-inflicted gunshot wound."

The suspected shooter has been identified as Dylan Butler, a student at the school, but authorities provided no information about a possible motive.

Butler, Mortvedt said, was armed with a pump-action shotgun and small calibre handgun.

WATCH | Shooter opened fire at school on first day back after holidays:

Grade 6 student, suspect killed in Iowa school shooting

6 hours ago

Duration 2:04

A 17-year-old opened fire at a small-town Iowa high school on the first day back after the winter break, killing a Grade 6 student and wounding five. The suspected shooter was also found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

An officer also found an improvised explosive device during a search of the school, he said, but the state's fire marshal and members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms "rendered the device safe."

According to authorities, four of those wounded were students and one was a school administrator, who was later identified by his alma mater as Perry High School Principal Dan Marburger.

Three gunshot victims were taken by ambulance to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, a spokesperson for its health system said.

Other patients were transported to a second hospital in Des Moines, a spokesperson for MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center confirmed, declining to comment on the number of patients or their statuses.

Perry has about 8,000 residents and is about 64 kilometres northwest of state capital Des Moines. Perry High School sits on the eastern edge of town. The high school and middle school are connected.

Two people embrace outside the entrance to a brick building while other people stand together nearby.

Students describe early-morning shooting

Students preparing for their first classes after winter break were forced to duck into classrooms, barricade themselves in offices or run for an exit before the suspected shooter was found dead.

Perry High School senior Ava Augustus said she was in a counsellor's office when she heard three shots.

She and other people barricaded the door, preparing to throw things if necessary, with a window being too small for an escape. "And then we hear 'He's down. You can go out,' " Augustus said through tears.

"And I run and you can just see glass everywhere, blood on the floor. I get to my car and they're taking a girl out of the auditorium who had been shot in her leg."

Zander Shelley, 15, was in a hallway 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.

Kevin Shelley, who drives a garbage truck, told his boss he had to run. "It was the most scared I've been in my entire life," he said.

WATCH | Iowa mother shares concern for daughter after school shooting:

'It could have been her': Parent reacts after deadly Iowa school shooting

8 hours ago

Duration 0:50

A Grade 6 student was killed and five others wounded by a 17-year-old who opened fire at a small-town Iowa high school on Thursday. Amber Ross says her daughter was in the building when she heard gunshots, and she was visibly overcome with emotion when speaking about how worried she felt for her daughter.

Rachael Kares, an 18-year-old senior, was wrapping up jazz band practice when she and her bandmates heard what she described as four gunshots, spaced apart. "We all just jumped," Kares said.

"My band teacher looked at us and yelled, 'Run!' So we ran." Kares and many others from the school ran out past the football field, as she heard people yelling, "Get out! Get out!"

She said she heard additional shots as she ran but didn't know how many. She was more concerned about getting home to her three-year-old son. "At that moment I didn't care about anything except getting out because I had to get home with my son," she said.

Vigils were planned Thursday evening at a park and a local church. A post on the high school's Facebook page said it would be closed on Friday, with counselling services planned at the public library on Friday and Saturday.

In Washington, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the shooting. FBI agents from the Omaha-Des Moines office are assisting with the investigation, led by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Mass shootings across the United States have long brought calls for stricter gun laws from gun safety advocates, and Thursday's did within hours. But that idea has been a non-starter for many Republicans, particularly in rural, Republican-leaning states like Iowa.

As of July 2021, Iowa does not require a permit to purchase a handgun or carry a firearm in public, though it mandates a background check for a person buying a handgun without a permit.

With files from CBC News

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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