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4 Jan, 2024 21:25

Teenage gunman brings ‘bomb’ to school

The 17-year-old shooter was identified as a student at Perry High School in Iowa
Teenage gunman brings ‘bomb’ to school

A teenage student at Perry High School in Iowa shot six people at the school before turning the gun on himself, police told reporters on Thursday. One victim, a sixth-grader, died at the scene, while four other students and the school's principal, Dan Marburger, were hospitalized.

An “improvised explosive device” was discovered during a subsequent “systematic search” of the school, police said. However, the Iowa fire marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms eventually “rendered the device safe.”

Police declined to share any details about the explosive device beyond describing it as “rudimentary” and reassuring the public there was no further danger.

Police were called to the scene at 7:37am local time ahead of the start of classes on what would have been students’ first day back from winter break. “School didn’t start yet, luckily, luckily so there was very few students and faculty in the building, which I think contributed to a good outcome in that sense,” Dallas County Sheriff Adam Infante told the media.

The FBI is assisting the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation in the probe. The attacker, identified by local media as Dylan Butler, was carrying a small-caliber handgun and a pump-action shotgun, according to the Iowa agency’s Assistant Director Mitch Mortvedt, who praised the law enforcement response at the scene, which reportedly mobilized 150 officers from the local, state and federal levels, as “swift and immediate.”

Mortvedt declined to share details on a possible motive for the shooting, explaining that “anything into the background of him is part of the investigation and we’re obviously going to take a deep dive into that.” However, he confirmed that the gunman had “made a number of social media posts in and around the time of the shooting,” potential evidence police were “working to secure.”

The White House was briefed on the incident and wasted no time issuing a plea for gun-control legislation. “It's only the fourth day in the year, in the new year, and we are already faced with yet another horrific school shooting. And the question that we ask, is when will enough be enough?” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre asked.

Iowa requires gun buyers to obtain a permit or submit to a background check. A customer must be 21 or older to buy a handgun and 18 or older to purchase a shotgun, meaning the teenage shooter’s weapons may not have been obtained legally.