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

(ABC 6 News) – Court documents detail the scene inside Starts Right Here, a Des Moines outreach center for at-risk youth, where a shooting took place on Monday, killing two students and injuring the center’s President.

Police say 18-year-old Preston Walls brought a gun to the education center Monday afternoon and began firing in the common area killing 18-year-old Gionni Dameron and 16-year-old Rashad Carr and injuring Will Keeps.

16-year-old Rashad Carr (L) and 18-year-old Gionni Dameron (R) were shot and killed at Starts Right Here on Monday, Jan. 23. (Credit: Des Moines Police Department)

Court documents say that Keeps “approached the defendant and attempted to escort him out of a door at which point the defendant abruptly pulled away, and produced the handgun.”

Walls proceeded to shoot all three victims before fleeing the scene, the documents say.

Police followed a “suspicious vehicle” from the scene. They then conducted a traffic stop and Walls allegedly ran from the vehicle. Police discovered Walls had cut off his court-ordered GPS ankle monitor which is related to previous cases. He was located quickly, and a handgun was found nearby, according to police.

Walls is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and criminal gang participation.

He is being held at the Polk County Jail on a total cash-only bond of over $2.5 million.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 3.

Police say Preston Walls is charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in the Monday shooting at Starts Right Here in Des Moines (Credit: Polk County Jail)

Starts Right Here (SRH) is a program that provides Des Moines students a safe space to complete their self-paced learning or credit recovery programs. This includes mentoring, tutoring and various arts programs meant to offer guidance for students working through personal, educational and systemic hurdles. 

SRH is not a state-approved charter school, but has paired with Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) since 2021 to accomplish two main goals, according to DMPS: assist students in the district’s Options Academy credit recovery program and help students no longer in a school building due to behavioral issues.