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Newscast 1.4.2024: Two students dead after school shooting in Perry, Iowa; Republicans continue to campaign in Siouxland in run up to caucuses

One student was killed, and multiple people were injured in a school shooting Thursday morning in Perry, Iowa.

In a midafternoon press conference, law enforcement authorities identified the person killed as a Perry Middle School sixth-grader who has not been named.

They also identified the shooter as Dylan Butler, 17, who acted alone, using a pump action shotgun and small caliber handgun. Butler died from a self-inflicted gunshot, and his motive is being investigated.

The shooting took place at the high school just after 7:30 a.m, before classes had started, in the Perry School District with roughly 1,800 students. Students told various media outlets of hearing gunshots, and attempting to make themselves safe.

Dallas County Sheriff Adam Infante said some of his deputies arrived within seven minutes of the shooting at Perry High School, and the school was secured, as emergency officials worked on the scene. They found one improvised explosive device.

Among the five other people injured, four were students and one was a Perry school administrator.

A prayer vigil was to take place at 5:30 p.m., as organized by Perry community members. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds came to Perry by midafternoon, and announced the focus should be on providing assistance to people impacted.

“Our hearts are heavy today, and our prayers are with everyone in the Perry community,” Reynolds said. “This senseless tragedy has shaken our entire state to its core. I want this community to know that every Iowan stands with you.”

Perry is located about 40 miles northwest of Des Moines.

A White House official said President Joe Biden was tracking the situation shortly after it occurred. Biden has frequently spoken on the necessity of taking action to reduce mass shootings that take place in the nation.

Additionally, Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis made two Northwest Iowa campaign stops on Wednesday, as he aims to get more support in advance of the January 15 Iowa caucuses.

At Johnnie Mars Family Restaurant in Sioux City, DeSantis touted his record as Florida governor and called on former President Donald Trump to debate. Trump leads in Iowa and national polls, and Trump will not participate in a January 8 debate in Des Moines, which DeSantis said shows he is not willing to answer hard questions.

DeSantis also spoke in the evening at Sioux Center, Iowa.

Trump will make three Siouxland campaign stops in advance of the caucuses, with those being tomorrow Friday in Sioux Center, on Jan. 13 in Sioux City, and Jan. 14 in Cherokee.

Another Republican candidate, Vivek Ramiswamy, will speak in Sioux City on Jan. 8.