A Des Moines 18-year-old was charged with murder in the shooting deaths of two teenagers at the Starts Right Here mentorship program over an alleged gang dispute that also injured the program’s founder and president.
Preston M. Walls was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of criminal gang participation, according to a Des Moines Police Department news release. Charging documents were not immediately available online Monday night.
Who is Preston Walls accused of shooting?
Walls is accused of killing a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old at the Starts Right Here program. Sgt. Paul Parizek, a spokesperson for the Des Moines Police Department, told the Register that evidence shows all were students of the program.
William Holmes, the leader of the program who is also known as Will Keeps, remains hospitalized in serious condition after he also was shot.
Two more suspects remain in police custody. Police haven’t released their names.
What happened in the shooting?
According to the release, Walls walked into a common area of Starts Right Here, a mentorship program for at-risk youth, with a 9 mm handgun that had an extended ammunition magazine.
Holmes tried to escort Walls from the area, but Walls pulled away and began to shoot the two teenagers. Holmes, who was standing nearby, was also shot.
Police later stopped a vehicle that left the scene of the shooting, and Walls fled from the vehicle before police found him a short time later and took him into custody without incident, the release said.
What caused the dispute?
Police allege that the incident originated from a dispute between opposing gangs. They did not provide further details.
Does Preston Walls have a criminal record?
Walls has faced previous charges related to drug and weapon possession, according to court records. The release said Walls removed a GPS ankle monitor, part of a pretrial release condition from a weapons charge, 16 minutes before the shooting
Further information was not immediately available.