Police arrested six teenagers and charged each with murder in a shooting outside a high school Monday that left one teenager dead and two others in critical condition.
Jose David Lopez, 15, was killed in what police said was a targeted drive-by shooting. Two teenage girls, one 16 and one 18, were shot and remain in critical condition.
Lopez was the intended target, the two girls were not, according to Sgt. Paul Parizek, spokesperson for the Des Moines Police Department. Parizek said the gunfire came from multiple shooters and multiple vehicles.
Police identified the six teenagers each charged in adult court with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder: Octavio Lopez, 17; Nyang Chamdual, 14; Manuel Buezo, 16; Romero Perdomo, 16; Alex Perdomo, 15; and Henry Valladares-Amaya, 17.
Parizek said the first-degree murder charges will be filed directly to adult court. The attempted murder charges will be filed based upon age, said Polk County Attorney John Sarcone. Those charges against suspects 16 and older will be filed in adult court, and the attempted murder charges against suspects younger than 16 will initially be filed in juvenile court.
“While this incident occurred outside of a school, it could have occurred in any one of our neighborhoods. The school is where the suspects found their target,” Parizek said. “Within one hour of the incident, almost all of the suspects were in custody. Within several hours, all were.”
Parizek said five residential search warrants and six vehicle search warrants were carried out within the city. Six firearms were recovered, he said.
The names of the two female victims were not provided. Parizek said Lopez did not attend East High School. The two who were critically injured were students at the school, he said.
The shooting happened shortly before 3 p.m. near the northwest corner of the campus, school officials said. Shells were recovered from the scene.
School was canceled Tuesday in response to the killing. Des Moines Public Schools announced grief counselors will be available for students and staff all week.
Police investigated the shooting with the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Iowa State Patrol, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Des Moines Public Schools Department of Public Safety.
The killing was the city’s fourth homicide in 2022.
“Our entire community is in mourning right now,” Des Moines Superintendent Thomas Ahart said Monday evening. “We do not have young lives to spare in Des Moines.”
Police Chief Dana Wingert was at the scene Monday afternoon and evening.
“This is a dark day for the city of Des Moines,” Wingert said at an evening news conference. “Another tragic loss of life. Every one of them is tragic. Every one of them is pointless.”