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Starts Right Here founder released from hospital following Des Moines shooting

Keeps was taken to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds last Monday after a shooting at his nonprofit for at-risk kids, Starts Right Here.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Starts Right Here founder and leader Will Keeps is out of the hospital a week after a deadly shooting on the center's grounds. 

Keeps was injured on Monday, Jan. 23 when a teen walked into the common room of the nonprofit and opened gunfire, killing students Gionni Dameron and Rashad Carr.

Keeps was taken to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds, where he underwent surgery. 

Two suspects, 19-year-old Bravon Tukes and 18-year-old Preston Walls, are both charged with two counts of first-degree murder and single counts of attempted murder and gang participation.

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Keeps' family told Local 5 about his release Monday, Jan. 30 in a statement that reads:

"Will has been released from the hospital and is home, surrounded by family and friends, as he continues to heal and recover from his wounds. 

Our family would like to thank the entire medical team at Iowa Methodist Medical Center for their excellent care last week, and we are also appreciative of all the support and well-wishes received from the community.

Will still has a long recovery ahead and will require additional procedures. However, he is determined to get back to fulfilling the mission of Starts Right Here after he has taken the time needed to rest and heal.

As a family, we continue to mourn the loss of life and pray for all who have been impacted by the tragedy. We ask that everyone continue to keep us and everyone else in their thoughts and prayers."

As for students who attend Starts Right Here as part of Des Moines Public School's Options Academy, classes were canceled for the entire week following the shooting. DMPS told Local 5 that learning will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 31, either virtually or in a district building.

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