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One dead and five injured in Iowa school shooting

The shooter was a 17-year-old student from the center who committed suicide afterwards

Vehículos de Policía frente al instituto de educación secundaria de Perry, en Iowa (EE UU)
Police vehicles in front of Perry High School, Iowa.SCOTT MORGAN (REUTERS)

An eleven-year-old student has died and five other people have been injured in the shooting that took place on Thursday at a high school in the town of Perry, Iowa, as confirmed by the Police. The perpetrator of the shooting was a 17-year-old student at the school, who died by his own hand, said Mitch Mortvedt, of the Iowa Police Criminal Investigation Division.

The injured are four students and an administrative staff member of the school, who were taken to the hospital. One of them is in serious condition, although there is no fear for his life. The rest are stable.

The incident in this town of 8,000 residents, about 45 miles from Des Moines, the state capital, began early in the morning, when students were beginning to arrive at the school for the first day of classes after the Christmas vacations. The first call to the emergency services was made at 07.37 local time, about 20 minutes before the start of the school day, and the first officers arrived at the school seven minutes later.

There, Mortvedt said, they found children running away trying to escape; others had locked themselves in their classrooms. Almost immediately they found the shooter’s body, with a wound that appeared to be self-inflicted. In the search of the school the agents also found an improvised homemade bomb which they proceeded to detonate.

So far it has not been determined what was the motive that led the student to attack the facility with a handgun and a rifle. The young man acted alone, according to the police.

Images broadcast by television stations in the hours immediately after the shooting showed a huge deployment of police and Fire Department vehicles around the school, which is part of a school district with 1,785 enrolled students. The school district canceled classes for Thursday.

The incident occurred a few days before the Republican caucuses in the state to nominate a candidate for the November presidential elections. One of the candidates, Vivek Ramaswamy, was scheduled to hold a rally in Perry, but after the incident he changed his program to a prayer meeting.

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