Families of Des Moines school shooting victims sue program, founder

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The families of two teenagers shot to death in a Des Moines alternative high school have filed a lawsuit alleging the program and its founder were negligent in not keeping the school safe. 

The families of 16-year-old Rashad Carr, and 18-year-old Gionni Dameron filed the lawsuit Monday against the program, Starts Right Here, and its founder Will Keeps. 

Both teens were killed Jan. 23 in a shooting in the school on the edge of downtown Des Moines. 

Keeps, an activist and rapper whose given name is Will Holmes, also was shot and seriously injured but survived. A student and another teen have been charged with first-degree murder in the shootings.

In the lawsuit, the families of Carr and Dameron argue that Keeps and the school knew of potential dangers but didn’t take needed steps to protect the two teens. At the time, Starts Right Here did not have security guards, but after the shootings the program reopened with guards and metal detectors.