Five of the 10 Des Moines teens charged with murder in the East High shooting plead not guilty

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By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio

Des Moines Police have charged 10 teenagers in connection with the fatal shooting of 15-year-old José David Lopez outside of East High School last month. Police have said Lopez was the intended target.

All 10, who are between the ages of 14 and 18, have been charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

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Shortly after the shooting, police arrested and charged six teens with the murder and attempted murder. Then about three weeks later, arrested and charged four others, between the ages of 16 and 18.

Five of them, charged as adults, were set to appear in court earlier this month, but those hearings were called off when their attorneys filed their desire to enter a written arraignment and their plea of not guilty. Their jury trial date is set for June 27th.

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The three others charged as adults have arraignment date on May 13. The two others’ cases remain in juvenile court.

Police have concluded in court documents the shooting was connected to gang activity.

The death has launched a community-wide response to increase student safety/resources and address gun violence, especially among young people. Gov. Kim Reynolds said the fault was on the educational system and that it “is letting these kids down.”

Des Moines Public Schools will host a series of community roundtable discussions for community members to offer ideas and solutions for the school district, which has already increased security around high school parking lots and added outward facing cameras to buildings.

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