Sixth-grade student was killed in an Iowa school shooting, and the suspect was also killed

On January 4, 2024, law enforcement officers were present at the scene of a shooting that took place at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa.

A tragic incident unfolded in Perry, Iowa today as a 17-year-old student opened fire at a school, resulting in the death of a sixth-grade student and injuring five others. This devastating event occurred on the first day of classes after the winter break, leaving the community in shock and mourning. Law enforcement officials are currently investigating the motive behind this senseless act of violence.

During the search of the high school, law enforcement officials uncovered an improvised explosive device, as shared by Mitch Mortvedt, an assistant director with the state Department of Criminal Investigation. The device was rendered safe by the state fire marshal’s office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The shooting in Iowa, which took place on the district’s first day of classes in 2024, is just one example of the alarming rise in gun violence within American schools. This tragic incident reflects a larger national epidemic that has been escalating in recent years.

According to the K-12 School Shooting Database, there were 346 instances in 2023 where a gun was brandished or fired at school, or where a bullet hit school property. This marks the highest number of incidents in a single year since 1966, when the database began collecting data. Furthermore, it is worth noting that this is the third consecutive year to set a new record in terms of school shooting incidents.


According to the site, there have already been four incidents in 2024, all occurring within the first four days of the year.

Perry is a charming town located approximately 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Des Moines, the capital city of Iowa. With a population of around 7,900, it offers a close-knit community feel. Notably, the town’s middle and high schools are conveniently situated on a shared campus, fostering an environment of collaboration and unity.

The attack occurred shortly after 7:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), at a time when most students and faculty had not yet entered the building. Butler, equipped with a pump-action shotgun and a handgun, was the perpetrator, according to Mortvedt.

According to Mortvedt, Butler posted multiple times on social media during the time of the shooting, although he did not provide specific details. The investigators were still looking into the motive of the shooter.

Four students and one school administrator were wounded in the attack, according to Mortvedt. However, he chose not to disclose their names. Easton Valley, another school district, confirmed that Dan Marburger, the high school principal, was the administrator who was shot.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds expressed her deep condolences and solidarity with the community during a recent briefing, acknowledging the profound impact of this tragic event on the entire state. She assured the community that the people of Iowa stand united with them during this difficult time.

FBI agents from the Omaha-Des Moines office are providing assistance in the investigation, according to a spokesperson from the Justice Department. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has been briefed on the shooting.

“We must put an end to these tragedies,” emphasized White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “It is imperative that we take action.”

The campaign spokesperson for Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy stated that there had been a scheduled rally in Perry. However, due to the reports of the shooting, the event was changed to an in-person prayer meeting.

In just 11 days, Iowa is set to host the inaugural statewide contest for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

“This morning, Ramaswamy expressed his concern for the Perry, Iowa community and urged everyone to pray for them,” he stated on the X social media platform.

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