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John Huber


Tragic School Shooting Claims Life of Sixth Grader in Perry, Iowa

On January 4, 2024, tragedy struck Perry High School in Iowa when a 17-year-old student opened fire killing a sixth-grade student and injuring five others. The assailant, armed with a pump-action shotgun and a small-caliber handgun, later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The incident unfolded just as students were returning from winter break, with the shooting occurring before classes began. Authorities received calls about an armed individual at the school, prompting swift response from emergency personnel. The victims, including four students and the school’s principal, Dan Marburger, were taken to area hospitals. One victim is reported to be in critical condition.

Law enforcement officials discovered an improvised explosive device during a systematic search of the school, which was safely rendered inert by the state fire marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The motive behind the attack remains unknown, and evidence suggests that Butler acted alone.

The small town of Perry, with a population of 8,000, was deeply affected by the shooting. Parents rushed to schools, businesses closed early, and residents gathered for candlelight vigils. Community members expressed shock and grief during a gathering at a park, where ministers led prayers and shared their accounts of the tragic day.

Laura Espinoza, an educator at Perry Elementary School, described the panic that ensued during the lockdown and emphasized the importance of preparedness despite the hope that such events will never occur.

Governor Kim Reynolds acknowledged the profound impact of the shooting, stating that it “has shaken us to our core.” She praised the coordinated efforts of local, state, and federal agencies in responding to the incident.

As the community grapples with the aftermath, multiple patients with gunshot wounds are being treated at medical centers. The Perry Community School District announced the closure of the high school, middle school, and elementary school on the following day.

The tragedy in Perry highlights the ongoing challenge of ensuring the safety of schools and the emotional toll such incidents take on communities. As the investigation continues, the nation mourns the loss of a young life and stands in solidarity with the affected families and the Perry community.

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The MEN was founded by John Huber in the fall of 2020. It was founded to provide a platform for expert opinion and commentary on current issues that directly or indirectly affect education. All opinions are valued and accepted providing they are expressed in a professional manner. The Maryland Education Network consists of Blogs, Videos, and other interaction among the K-12 community.