A gang row sparked the deaths of two teenagers who were shot Monday at an education center in Des Moines, Iowa, police said in a statement.
• Also read: Two youths shot dead at a youth center in Iowa
The two dead were 16 and 18 years old and their murder was part of a gang dispute. The 18-year-old suspected gunman was arrested and charged with first-degree manslaughter, attempted murder and gang membership, police said in a statement late Monday.
The young man “and the two deceased victims are known gang members and belong to rival gangs,” and elements obtained by police “suggest these crimes were committed in the context of an ongoing inter-gang conflict.”
After an emergency call, police went to Starts Right Here, a program to help young people in need, and found three people with gunshot wounds, two of them “very serious”.
Both teenagers succumbed to their injuries. The injured 49-year-old, the program’s founder, “remains hospitalized in serious condition.”
The shooter “was at Starts Right Here, as were the three victims. He had in his possession a 9mm pistol with a high-capacity magazine,” police said.
The program’s founder tried to drag him from a common room, but the teenager raised his gun and started shooting, hitting the three people before fleeing, according to the same source.
Shortly thereafter he was arrested.
According to the investigation, he cut off the electronic bracelet he wore on his ankle about 16 minutes before the shooting.
These two deaths come after the deaths of 11 people Saturday night in California, who were shot dead by a 70-year-old man of Asian descent during Chinese New Year celebrations. 600 kilometers north of there, in Half Moon Bay, another person, also of Asian descent, killed at least seven Chinese farm workers on two farms on Monday.