Des Moines East High School shooting perpetrators charged with murder

A fatal drive-by shooting killed one and left two injured on March 7.


Rain Richards

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Laney Prelle, Profiles Editor

On March 7, six teenagers shot and killed a 15-year-old boy in a fatal drive-by outside of Des Moines East High School. The victim in the shooting was Jose David Lopez, who Des Moines police confirmed was not a student at East High. The shooting also injured two female students enrolled at East High, leaving them in serious and critical condition. Des Moines Public School (DMPS) officials released a statement after the shooting, stating that all six of the culprits were not enrolled at DMPS. 

The six teens have been charged with first-degree murder after police determined that shots were fired from multiple vehicles. 17-year-old Octavio Lopez, 14-year-old Nyang Chamdual, 16-year-old Manuel Buezo, 16-year-old Romero Perdomo, 15-year-old Alex Perdomo and 17-year-old Henry Valladares-Amaya have all been charged with murder in the first degree and two counts of attempted murder. The four oldest suspects are being charged as adults and police have recovered six firearms since opening their investigation. Jose Lopez died due to gang-related activity, according to police. 

Classes were canceled for the rest of the week due to the shooting, but school buses continued to run their routes to and from East High to give students a chance to meet with counselors. On March 10, students and staff were asked to wear red in support of the victims of this shooting. Police say they do not think there is a current threat being posed toward the community. 

The shooting comes in the midst of concerns about the safety of East High. This is the first school year since 1999 that the school has gone without on-site Des Moines police officers. Last year, members of the school year voted to remove officers from DMPS because it disproportionately affected students of color. Since then, a petition to bring back officers has been started.