Perry Community School District/Facebook

Principal wounded in Iowa high school shooting has died

Jan. 15, 2024
Perry High School Principal Dan Marburger was hailed as a hero for distracting the shooter and enabling students to flee from the attack.

Dan Marburger, the principal wounded in the Jan. 4 shooting attack at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa, died early Sunday, his family said.

The Des Moines Register reports that Marburger's wife, Elizabeth, posted the news of his death on a GoFundMe page.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she had ordered flags at all state facilities lowered to half-staff in Marburger's honor.

Marburger was one of six people, including four students, who were shot at the high school. Ahmir Jolliff, a sixth-grade student from Perry Middle School, adjacent to the high school, also died in the attack. Two of the wounded students remained hospitalized as of Friday.

The shooter, high school student Dylan Butler, 17, died by suicide after the attack, authorities said.

Marburger, 56, was hospitalized in Des Moines and underwent surgery after the attack.

Several accounts said that before Marburger was shot, he tried to distract Butler, giving other students time to escape the school cafeteria where the shootings began during breakfast.

On Sunday, the Perry Community School District posted a message on its Facebook page, expressing its condolences to the Marburger family.

"Dan was a tremendous leader in our school district and a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Our school community is heartbroken by Dan’s death," it said. "For nearly three decades, Dan was ingrained in every aspect of our Perry Community School District environment, and we are feeling the immense loss of a devoted and caring colleague."

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has not publicly identified a motive for the shootings, though it has said it is investigating a report that Dylan, who brought a pump-action shotgun and small-caliber handgun to school that day, had been bullied.

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