The gunman was armed with a pump-action shotgun and a small caliber handgun, Mr. Mortvedt said. He also made “a number of social media posts in and around the time of the shooting,” which law enforcement officials are investigating, Mr. Mortvedt said.
About 150 law enforcement officers responded to the scene, Mr. Mortvedt said.
Governor Kim Reynolds said at a news conference on Thursday that the shooting “has shaken us to our core” and recognized the “incredible coordination” of local, state and federal agencies.
The victims’ families “need your thoughts and prayers, as well as time and space to process and grieve,” said Chief Eric Vaughn of the Perry Police Department, holding back tears. “This community has been through tough times before and have rallied together. I’m sure this time will be no different.”
As of Thursday afternoon, multiple patients with gunshot wounds were being treated at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center, Polk County Medical Coordination Center said in a statement.
Ava Augustus, a senior at Perry High School, told WHO 13 News that she was in her counselor’s office when she heard three gunshots. When they got the all-clear, she saw glass everywhere, blood on the floor, and a student who had been shot in the leg being taken out of the auditorium.