Des Moines Police Chief Releases Statement About Deadly Shooting

Photo: Sue Danielson

(Des Moines, IA) -- The Des Moines Police Department continues to investigate Monday's shooting, that resulted in the death of two teens at a non-profit organization for at-risk students. The founder of the organization, Will Keeps, remains hospitalized and is recovering from injuries during the shooting.

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert has released a statement to the community:

“On January 23rd, an all-too familiar scenario played out in the City of Des Moines. Unfortunately, this scene has become increasingly common across the country, and our community is no different. Tragic loss of two young lives at the hands of gun violence, with a third person seriously injured, is something we should never accept as “normal” or “acceptable”. It can only be viewed as tragic, sad and pointless each and every time. Monday’s incident took this disturbing trend to a new level, as the violence was brought the very institution created to provide hope and opportunity to some of our most troubled youth, and its founder, Will Keeps, who has made it his life’s work to ensure their success. As troubling as this is, it would be a mistake to underestimate the passion and energy that he will bring to this important work upon his recovery. The response to this incident was impressive, to say the least. The first officers on scene rushed into the building without hesitation or delay. Fire medics arrived quickly to provide aid and livesaving measures. A traffic stop with the armed suspect in the vehicle was conducted minutes into the incident. Detectives and CSI technicians worked tirelessly well into the night to find the answers and file the appropriate charges on the shooter. This collective response brought a horrible tragedy to a quick resolution. Our partners from local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies were there quickly to provide resources and support to this effort, something we’ve come to expect from these valued partners in Central Iowa. There are resources and a collective will in this City to tackle challenging issues such as this, and I can assure you that those resources will be put into play in the continued fight against violent crime. There is no other way."

- Chief Dana Wingert

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