DES MOINES, IOWA — The murder trial of Preston Walls, the man accused of killing two fellow students at Starts Right Here education center in Des Moines, began on Thursday in Des Moines. Walls is accused of shooting and killing Gionni Dameron and Rashad Carr inside the education center on January 23, 2023.

Testimony began on Thursday afternoon with the airing of body camera videos recorded by police officers who were among the first on the scene of the shooting. In the extended clips played in the courtroom, jurors saw the bloody aftermath of the shooting. Three shooting victims, including Starts Right Here founder Will Keeps, could be seen lying on the floor as staff and students tried to render emergency aid. Two Des Moines Police officers were called to testify about what they saw when they arrived on scene. The shooters had fled the scene before officers arrived.

The third person called to the stand on Thursday was Starts Right Here Director Yavonne Palmer. Palmer was working on the day of the shooting. Palmer testified that Walls and the two homicide victims were on good terms with each other until just weeks before the shooting. She testified there was a disagreement between the sides that had escalated, including the production of a “dis video” by Dameron – a music video featuring targeted, disrespectful language at Walls.

Walls’ attorney, in his opening statements, made the case to jurors that Walls acted in self-defense against gang members who had threatened him and whom he believed were armed.

The trial is expected to last up to two weeks. Co-defendant Bravon Tukes is scheduled to stand trial in October on the same charges.