Des Moines high school shooting victim returns home as classes resume


DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) – Classes resume at East High in Des Moines Wednesday for the first time since a deadly drive-by shooting.

The March 7 shooting killed 15-year-old Jose Lopez and injured two teenage girls, including 18-year-old Kemery Ortega who is now out of the hospital.

Ortega is a senior at East High. She is now at ChildServe in Johnston where she now stays for rehab. She said her ultimate goal is to return to East High and graduate.

She said she was sitting in a friend’s truck when she was shot in the head. She still remembers the paramedics touching her neck to see if she was alive.

“I got shot in the head,” she said. “I guess I touched it, I saw the blood on my hand, and I blacked out right then and there. My vision was black and gray.  I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear my friends saying my name and asking if I was ok, but I was just laying there breathing like (sighs).”

Before she left the hospital on Tuesday, Ortega said she got to visit with Jessica Lopez for the first time since the shooting. The 16-year-old was also shot in the head. She is recovering in the hospital.

Six teens are charged in connection to the shooting. Four of them are charged with first degree murder as adults. They’re due back in court on April 22.

Two others face the same charge as juveniles. The six suspects range in age from 14 to 17 years old.

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