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Suspended student arrested at Des Moines middle school with gun, police say

The suspect was arrested on the grounds of Brody Middle School. No students were in direct contact with the suspect, according to the school's principal.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A suspended 13-year-old student was arrested Tuesday morning at Brody Middle School and is charged with attempted murder and robbery, Des Moines police said.

The teenager, who was "armed with a handgun" in the school Tuesday, is also the suspect in a Nov. 22 attempted robbery in which a juvenile was shot, DMPD said.

Brody Middle School Principal Thomas Hoffman wrote in a letter to parents that the school became aware of the suspect's presence on campus late Tuesday morning and notified the Des Moines Police Department as well as the school district's security. 

The suspect was under direct adult supervision until police arrived and did not have direct contact with Brody students, he added.

The police attempted to serve a search notice before Thanksgiving break, but the student was not on campus. This led them to create a plan with DMPD.

Phil Roeder, a representative from the Des Moines Public School district, said the plan was for a staff member to "hold him safely somewhere until police arrive" if he were to come onto campus during his suspension.

Local 5 followed up with Roeder to ask about the loaded gun found in the student's possession. When asked about how the DMPS staff member felt about their safety and if they were aware that the student was armed, Roeder was unsure.

"I don't know if the student had the backpack on them or if that was taken off. So that's yeah, that's a good question. And I don't know the answer to it," Roeder said.

Roeder added that the district has implemented campus monitors, a role where staff receives security training on how to de-escalate dangerous situations.

The identity of the student has not been released by the police. The suspect was arrested on school grounds and referred to juvenile courts. 

According to DMPD, the teen is charged with:

  • Attempted Murder
  • Robbery in the First Degree
  • Assault with a Weapon
  • Going Armed with Intent
  • Person Ineligible to Carry Firearms
  • Carrying Weapons on School Grounds
  • Possession of Marijuana

Local 5 will update this story as more information becomes available. Download the We Are Iowa app or subscribe to Local 5's "5 Things to Know" email newsletter for the latest.


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