West Des Moines teen arrested after making school shooting post

West Des Moines teen arrested after making school shooting post

The West Des Moines Law Enforcement Center. Photo from city of West Des Moines

By Ty Rushing

January 5, 2024

An 18-year-old West Des Moines resident was arrested after sharing a Snapchat post about shooting up a school the same day as a nearby school shooting in Perry.

According to the criminal complaint, Lakeeve Fort made a post asking “Should I shoot up the school??” with a thumbs up and a thumbs down emoji. The post was reported to the FBI office in Omaha/Des Moines.

Law enforcement officials found Fort and asked him about the post. He told them that he made the post on Jan. 4. 2023—a full calendar year before Thursday’s Perry school shooting—and reshared the post yesterday as a memory.

The complaint also states other members of the private chat in which Fort shared the post were alarmed and told him to delete it. 

Fort was arrested at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday and charged with threat of terrorism, a class D felony. In Iowa, class D felonies are “punishable by confinement for no more than five years and a fine of at least $750 but not more than $7,500,” according to Iowa Code.

Fort is being held in the Polk County Jail in Des Moines.

In a statement announcing the arrest, the West Des Moines Police said “anyone who engages in or considers making threatening comments of violence towards others in any fashion, will be held legally accountable for such actions.”

On the day of Fort’s post, 17-year-old Dylan Butler, armed with a pump-action shotgun and a small-caliber handgun, shot and killed a sixth-grade student and wounded five others at Perry High School, before shooting and killing himself.

Perry Police, who were first on the scene according to officials, also found an improvised explosive device in the school, which they safely detonated.

  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

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