Families of two shooting victims at a Des Moines outreach center suing organization, founder

(ABC 6 News) – The families of two teenagers who were shot and killed at a Des Moines, Iowa outreach center for at-risk youth in January, have filed a lawsuit against the organization and its founder.

According to ABC affiliate WOI-DT in Des Moines, the families of 18-year-old Gionni Dameron and 16-year-old Rashad Carr, are accusing Will Keeps, the founder of Starts Right Here, of failing to protect the two teenagers from harm, claiming Keeps knew that another student meant to harm them.

Court documents show the families also believe Keeps failed to operate Starts Right Here in a “reasonably safe manner”, and failed to implement and carry out appropriate security measures. 

The families say they have incurred physical and emotional damages following their son’s death as a result of Keeps’ negligence.

The lawsuit comes almost four months after Carr and Dameron were killed in a shooting at the school in January. 

Keeps, whose given name is William Holmes, was also seriously injured in the shooting. 

RELATED: Court documents detail scene in Monday’s Des Moines outreach center shooting

Preston Walls, 18, and Bravon Tukes, 19, are both charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and criminal gang participation in connection to the shooting. Both teenagers have pleaded not guilty. 

Walls’ trial is scheduled to take place in late August, while Tukes is due in court in October.