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Iowa Community Deals with ‘Senseless Tragedy’ of High School Shooting That Killed 1, Injured 5

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Hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight prayer vigil Thursday evening, just hours after several people were injured and one killed during a school shooting in Iowa. 

Police received a call of an active shooter at 7:37 a.m. at Perry High School and they arrived on the scene within minutes and found multiple shooting victims.
    
The shooter 17-year-old Dylan Butler had already opened fire shooting five students and the school’s principal, Dan Marburge.

Authorities said Butler had a pump-action shotgun and a small-caliber handgun. 

Mitch Mortvedt, the state investigation division’s assistant director, said during a news conference Thursday that authorities also found a “pretty rudimentary” improvised explosive device and rendered it safe.
    
A 6th grade student did not survive and the gunman who was also a student at the school took his own life.

One ninth grader saw the shooter in the bathroom just before the shooting.

“It’s traumatizing because honestly he could have just killed me then and there and I wouldn’t be here right now,” the student said. 

It happened on the first day back to school after the Christmas and New Year holidays. Butler began shooting about 20 minutes before classes began. 

Before the shooting, Butler posted a selfie to social media of him in a bathroom stall with a blue duffle bag by his feet. The caption read, “Now we wait.”

Perry High School senior Ava Augustus said she was awaiting a counselor in a school office when she heard three shots. Unable to flee through a small window, she and others barricaded the door and were ready to throw things if necessary.

“And then we hear ‘He’s down. You can go out,'” Augustus said through tears. “And I run and you can just see glass everywhere, blood on the floor. I get to my car and they’re taking a girl out of the auditorium who had been shot in her leg.”
    
Police have not confirmed a motive for the shooting.  

However, students who knew him shared he was bullied since elementary school, but it escalated recently when his younger sister started getting picked on, too. 

“He was hurting. He got tired. He got tired of the bullying. He got tired of the harassment,” Yesenia Roeder Hall, 17, said. “Was it a smart idea to shoot up the school? No. God, no.”

Gov. Kim Reynolds called the shooting a “senseless tragedy” that has shaken Perry and the entire state. 

“Our hearts are broken by this senseless tragedy,” Reynolds said in a statement on social media. “Our prayers are with the students, teachers & families of the Perry Community.”
 



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