Sixth grader killed in Iowa high school shooting identified as victim count increases


(PERRY, Iowa) — The sixth grade student killed in a mass shooting at an Iowa high school on Thursday has been identified, as authorities increased the number of victims reported in the “horrific” incident.

Ahmir Jolliff, 11, was shot three times in the shooting at Perry High School, the Iowa Department of Public Safety said in a release on Friday.

The Perry Middle School student was one of eight victims in the shooting, the Iowa Department of Public Safety said Friday, increasing the previously reported number of victims by two.

Seven people — three staff members and four students — “received wounds or injuries of varying degree,” the agency said.

Perry High School Principal Dan Marburger, one of the staff members injured in the shooting, remains in critical condition, according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

The principal has been hailed as a hero.

“The investigation thus far confirms Principal Marburger acted selflessly and placed himself in harm’s way in an apparent effort to protect his students,” the Iowa Department of Public Safety said.

Two other students remain hospitalized while the other victims have since been treated and released, the agency said.

The suspected shooter –17-year-old Dylan Butler, a student at the high school — died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

He was found dead by responding officers with a pump-action shotgun and a small-caliber handgun, according to Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

A “rudimentary” explosive device was also located in the school and rendered safe, Mortvedt said.

Authorities have not commented on a possible motive.

The investigation remains ongoing.

“Investigators have seized large volumes of digital and social media evidence that will take time to review,” the Iowa Department of Public Safety said. “Background investigations, as well as eyewitness accounts and victim interviews, are continuing.”

The agency said the Division of Criminal Investigation’s report will be submitted to the Dallas County Attorney’s Office “to determine what additional course of action, if any, should be undertaken.”

During a press briefing on Friday, Perry Community School District Superintendent Clark Wicks would not comment on the suspect’s disciplinary record or reports that he was bullied.

“We care about every kid. We take every bullying situation seriously. And our goal is to always have that safe and inviting atmosphere,” he said. “But I’m not going to comment on this individual case.”

The school district remains closed in the wake of what Wicks called the “horrific incident.”

Wicks said the elementary and middle schools will reopen as early as Jan. 12. High school students will not return until after next week.

“There is some damage to the high school and that’s going to take some time to clean and repair,” he said. “We want the students to be able to come in here and see that it looks like Perry High School.”

Perry is located in the suburbs northwest of Des Moines.

The shooting occurred before the school day had started, and there were very few students and faculty in the building

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