Sixth-grade student killed in Iowa school shooting, gunman dead

Sixth-grade student killed in Iowa school shooting, gunman dead

/ 06:00 AM January 05, 2024

Law enforcement officers work at the scene of a shooting at Perry High School in Perry

Law enforcement officers work at the scene of a shooting at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa, U.S., January 4, 2024. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

PERRY, Iowa — A sixth-grader was killed on Thursday morning and five other people wounded when a 17-year-old student opened fire at an Iowa school on the first day of classes following the holiday break, law enforcement officials said.

The suspect was identified as Dylan Butler, a 17-year-old student at Perry High School, officials said at a news briefing. He was found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound by responding officers.


Police also discovered an improvised explosive device when searching the high school, Mitch Mortvedt, an assistant director with the state Department of Criminal Investigation, told reporters. Members of the state fire marshal’s office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives rendered the device safe.


The shooting occurred on what was to be the first day of the spring semester, according to the school district’s calendar. Perry, a town of about 7,900, is about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Des Moines, the state’s capital city.

The attack took place just after 7:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) before most students and faculty had entered the building.

Butler was armed with a pump-action shotgun and a handgun, Mortvedt said, and made several social media posts around the time of the shooting. The motive for the attack is under investigation.

Four of the wounded victims are students, and the fifth is a school administrator, said Mortvedt, who declined to release any names. Another school district, Easton Valley, issued a statement saying it had received word that Dan Marburger, the high school principal, was shot in the attack.

One victim was in critical condition but did not appear to be facing life-threatening injuries, Mortvedt said, while the other four were in stable condition.

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy had been scheduled to hold a rally in Perry but changed the event to an in-person prayer meeting after reports of the shooting, a campaign spokesperson said.


Iowa will hold the first statewide contest for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination in 11 days.

“Pray for the community in Perry, Iowa, this morning,” Ramaswamy said on the X social media platform.

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TAGS: Iowa, Shooting, United States, world news

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