DES MOINES, Iowa — Authorities on Friday charged a second teen with murder in the shooting of two students at an educational program in Des Moines.
Bravon Michael Tukes, 19, of Des Moines, faces two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of participation in criminal gangs.
The charges echo those filed earlier this week against Preston Walls, 18, who is charged with fatally shooting and wounding the two teenage students at the Starts Right Here education program on Monday the founder of the program.
Police said evidence shows Tukes communicated with Walls before and immediately after the shooting and drove the vehicle in which Walls allegedly fled. Tukes and Walls are members of the same gang and committed the shootings “in connection with that gang membership,” police said in a press release.
Police said they recovered four firearms during their investigation.
Online court records did not indicate whether Tukes already had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
The shooting killed 18-year-old Gionni Dameron and 16-year-old Rashad Carr. Will Keeps, a former Chicago gang member who moved to Des Moines and later founded the program to help at-risk youth, was seriously injured and remains in a hospital.
Police have said all four teens were gang members, but relatives and friends of Dameron and Carr dispute that. not involved in gangs and were good friends who were devoted to their families.
Police say the shooting was premeditated and that Walls, who was released under supervision for a gun assault last year, cut off an ankle bracelet 16 minutes beforehand. According to court documents, he had a concealed semi-automatic pistol with a large, high-capacity magazine when he entered a Starts Right Here common area and opened fire.
Classes at the education program, which partners with Des Moines Public Schools to help students who have failed at traditional schools, were canceled this week. Keeps has forged close ties with community leaders, and the city’s police chief serves on the program’s board.
Matt Smith, the interim school’s superintendent, described Keeps as “Amazing. Incredibly passionate.”