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6 teens have been arrested in a shooting that killed 1 outside an Iowa school

Police investigate a fatal shooting outside of East High School in  Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday. Police said it was the fourth homicide in Des Moines this year.
Zach Boyden-Holmes
The Des Moines Register via AP
Police investigate a fatal shooting outside of East High School in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday. Police said it was the fourth homicide in Des Moines this year.

Updated March 8, 2022 at 10:55 AM ET

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities arrested six teenagers, including a 14-year-old, in a shooting outside a school that killed a 15-year-old boy and seriously wounded two teenage girls, Des Moines police said Tuesday.

The suspects, all from Des Moines, are each charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in the Monday afternoon shooting on the grounds of East High School, near Des Moines' downtown, about a half-mile (0.8 kilometers) from the Capitol.

Police said gunshots fired outside the school came from several shooters from multiple vehicles. Those arrested range in age from 14 to 17.

Police said in a Facebook post that the 15-year-old killed, who was not a student at the school, was the intended target of the drive-by shooting. The other two shot were females aged 16 and 18, who both attend East, and were simply bystanders caught in the shooting, police said.

Police said the 16-year-old girl remained hospitalized Tuesday in serious condition, while the 18-year-old remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Sgt. Paul Parizek told KCCI-TV that calls started pouring in around 2:50 p.m. Monday, shortly before classes were scheduled to dismiss for the day.

The district said in a news release that the school was immediately put into lockdown and students were kept inside while police investigated. They were dismissed around 3:30 p.m. after law enforcement gave an all clear.

Principal Jill Versteeg described what happened as "everyone's worst nightmare" and urged parents to "hug your students and love them."

The district said there would be no classes Tuesday and that it was postponing the ACT college admissions test and parent-teacher conferences. The district also was making grief counselors available.

Superintendent Thomas Ahart said school shootings have "become too common" and said that "real change to gun laws and access would go a long way to help us."

"Our staff and students," he said, "are forced to train for these incidents and the trauma associated with the repeated drills and incidents will remain with them for years to come. It's unfortunate that our state and our country have become a place where firearms are far too easily accessible."

Police said they do not believe there is a continued threat to the public. A motive was not immediately known. Authorities have recovered shell casings from the scene as they investigate what happened.

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert went to the school after the shooting and expressed frustration at the violence.

"Unfortunately what happened here today was just another pointless tragedy in our community," Wingert told TV station WOI-TV. "People using firearms to settle their differences."

Police said it was the fourth homicide in Des Moines this year.

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