By Tyler Clifford
(Reuters) – Two students were killed on Monday and an adult was seriously wounded in a “targeted” shooting at a nonprofit educational center for at-risk youth in Des Moines, Iowa, local police said.
The students died at a hospital, while a staff member of Starts Right Here, a learning facility for young people, was in surgery, Sargent Paul Parizek said at a press conference. No further details were released.
Three suspects, who have not been identified, fled the scene in a car and were taken into custody at a traffic stop within 20 minutes of the incident. One of them jumped out of the vehicle and ran but was eventually arrested with the help of a K-9 unit, Parizek said.
No motive for the shooting is known. Officers were called to the scene just before 1 p.m. local time.
Parizek said the police department works closely with the program, which was designed to help underserved students who have a variety of “troubles and challenges.”
“These are supposed to be our safe spaces,” he said. “To have it happen here, it’s going to be a horrible impact on the community.”
Des Moines Public Schools interim Superintendent Matt Smith said the district partnered with Starts Right Here to help “re-engage students.”
“We are saddened to learn of another act of gun violence, especially one that impacts an organization that works closely with some of our students,” Smith said in a statement.
Parizek did not give a timeline for the investigation, though he said he expects the most serious charges will be handed down.