Three shootings left two people injured and one suspect in custody early this morning in the Des Moines suburb of Pleasant Hill. The shootings come on the heels of a threat via social media that there would be violence this morning at Southeast Polk High School in Pleasant Hill.
Craig Menozzi, superintendent of the Southeast Polk Community School District, says neither of the victims nor the suspect were students. “Once that call came in that there was a shooting in the community, we really needed to cancel classes because we lost that police presence,” Menozzi says. “We had promised that there would be extra police presence there this morning, and once they had to respond to the shooting, we decided to cancel school because the officers had to leave our scene.”
The threat of violence at the high school came over the weekend on the social media app known at Yik Yak. “All threats are taken very, very seriously,” Menozzi says. “We just have to stay vigilant in responding to those threats in making sure our parents and students know that if they see something, they say something and make sure they communicate with us.”
He says it does not appear that anyone involved in this morning’s shootings was tied to the school, so it may have all simply been coincidence. “We’re certainly trying to get to the bottom of it,” Menozzi says. “Yik Yak is an anonymous app and it’s very hard to trace so we’re trying to get a subpoena through the Pleasant Hill Police Department and we’re going to do everything within our power to find out who did this.”
No names of the victims or the suspect have been released. Menozzi says the shootings, which took place at separate locations, were “a couple of miles” away from the school and not anywhere in proximity to the campus.