DES MOINES, Iowa — A deadly shooting at the non-profit Starts Right Here claimed two lives in January. The families of the victims are now suing the organization and its founder, Will Keeps.

Gionni Dameron, 18, and Rashad Carr, 16, were killed in the January 23rd shooting. Keeps, the director of the organization, was also seriously injured. The lawsuit accuses Keeps of failing to protect students at the non-profit.

The families of both victims jointly filed the lawsuit Monday in Polk County court.

According to court records, Preston Walls, 18, broke away from Keeps as he escorted him from the building. Walls then carried out the deadly shooting and fled in an awaiting car driven by Bravon Tukes, 19, police said.

According to the lawsuit, Keeps knew the safety risks Dameron and Carr faced but failed to take action to protect them. 

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges Keeps:

  • Failed to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition 
  • Failed to operate its facility in a reasonably safe manner
  • Failed to recognize an unreasonable risk of injury to decedents
  • Failed to implement and carry out appropriate security measures
  • Failed to address a known dangerous condition on the premises

The families are suing for compensation relating to medical expenses, pain and suffering and mental anguish as a result of the deadly shooting.

Both Walls and Tukes are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of criminal gang participation.

Walls’ trial is scheduled for August, and Tukes’ trial will follow in October.