DMPS Responds to Shooting Near East High School

UPDATE (TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2022 @ 5:00 PM): Classes at East High School will be canceled for the remainder of this week. However, and more importantly, the remaining days of this week will be set aside to provide East students and staff with support, and time, to recover.  In the meantime, East students will be provided with meals, counseling, transportation, and the opportunity to stay engaged with the East High staff and activities. Click here to read more details.

UPDATE (MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2022 @ 8:00 PM): The Des Moines Police Department announced that one victim, a 15-yr-old male, has died (he was not an East student), and two victims, a 16-yr-old female and a 18-yr-old female, remain hospitalized (both are East students). The victims were on East High School property but not within the school building. The police report that the gunfire appears to have come from a passing vehicle.

MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2022 @ 5:15 PM: This afternoon, at approximately 2:48 PM, a shooting near East High School was reported that resulted in three victims, including one fatality, near the northwest corner of the school campus. At this time we are not able to confirm the victims’ names.

The Des Moines Police Department, Des Moines Fire Department, and DMPS Public Safety were on the scene within minutes. The school building was immediately put into lockdown and students were kept safely inside while police investigated. Students were dismissed at approximately 3:30 PM, after law enforcement gave an all clear.

As principal Jill Versteeg told East parents this afternoon, “I think we can all agree an event like this is everyone’s worst nightmare. Tonight, hug your students and love them.”

The school district is working with Des Moines police and will provide any assistance they need over the coming days. No classes will be held at East High School tomorrow. There is no school tomorrow, March 8, and the district is postponing the ACT for East High juniors until March 29. Parent-teacher conferences are also postponed.

The DMPS grief team will be available at East High for students and staff beginning tomorrow through the remainder of the week. School counselors will be available at our other schools for students who need additional support.

“We live in an era when shootings in and near schools have become too common,” said Superintendent Thomas Ahart. “Our staff and students 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. We remain committed to protecting our students and staff, but real change to gun laws and access would go a long way to help us.”

The district is receiving regular updates from the Des Moines Police Department and will share additional information as it becomes available.