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Shooting at Iowa high school leaves multiple victims

(CNN) — The Iowa County Sheriff said several people were shot Thursday morning at Perry High School near Des Moines.

A law enforcement official told CNN that the attacker was dead. Dallas County Sheriff Adam Infante said the number of victims and the extent of their injuries was unclear at this time.

The sheriff declined to say whether anyone died or answer questions.

“There is no further danger to the public,” Infante told reporters at a brief news conference outside the school, noting that the attacker had been identified.

Several people were admitted to Des Moines hospitals after the Perry school shooting, according to health authorities.

“Multiple patients are being treated at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and MercyOne,” the Polk County Medical Coordinating Center said in a statement. “Families of all victims have been reunited.”

The shootings, which occurred on the first day of the new semester, followed a year that saw more than 80 school shootings (more than any year since CNN began tracking in 2008), according to the school district.

Infante said authorities in Perry, Iowa, responded within seven minutes after receiving a call of an active shooter on campus at 7:37 a.m. “There are very few students and teachers in the building,” he said, adding that classes had not yet started.

There were law enforcement officers outside Perry High School.  (Photo credit: Andrew Harnick/AP)

There were law enforcement officers outside Perry High School. (Photo credit: Andrew Harnick/AP)

Later in the morning, “I think all the kids were gathered together,” he said, along with parents and others who came to the school after hearing about the shooting.

Authorities plan to hold another news conference Thursday afternoon, the sheriff said. In the meantime, investigators are talking to the victims and their families to find out what happened, he said.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) confirmed that their agents, Iowa State Patrol Trooper Alex Dinkla and police vehicles from multiple cities Already rushed to the scene.

“We are assisting the Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is the lead investigative agency,” the FBI said in a statement.

An official told CNN that the White House is aware of and is following reports of a shooting at a high school in Perry, Iowa.

“Multiple law enforcement and medical personnel are at the scene of the shooting at Perry High School,” a Dallas County Facebook post noted. “The site has been secured and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office will release more information as it becomes available.”

Police went to Perry High School on Thursday.  (Photo credit: Andrew Harnick/AP)

Police went to Perry High School on Thursday. (Photo credit: Andrew Harnick/AP)

Classes at Perry High School were canceled for the day, CNN affiliate KCCI reported. Additionally, there will be no classes for students at Perry Elementary School tomorrow following the shooting at Perry High School.

The school confirmed in a Facebook post that classes have been canceled and said the Perry Public Library will provide counseling services for “anyone in need” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time.

Perry is located outside Des Moines, about 65 miles northwest, and has a population of about 8,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Perry Community School District consists of one high school, one middle school and one elementary school and serves approximately 1,800 students, according to its website.

There were more than 80 school shootings in the United States last year, more than in any year since CNN began tracking shootings in 2008.

Development News*

CNN’s Hannah Rabinowitz, Betsy Klein and Holmes Lybrand contributed to this article.

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