Residents of Perry, Iowa, will caucus at the local elementary school Monday after the original location, Perry High School, became the site of a shooting earlier this month.
“Due to the unfortunate circumstances at Perry High School, we worked with the school administration to switch the site,” Terry Rich of the Dallas County GOP said in a statement provided to CNN.
There has not been a date set for classes to return to the high school. On the morning of January 4, as students and faculty returned to classes after the holidays, a 17-year-old gunman opened fire, killing a sixth-grade student and wounding seven other people.
On Sunday, high school principal Dan Marburger died after he sustained injuries in the attack. He was hailed a hero after trying to save students by talking to and distracting the shooter as the deadly attack unfolded, his daughter, Claire Marburger, shared on social media shortly after the shooting.
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, after learning of Marburger’s death from a reporter’s question following a campaign event in Ankeny, Iowa, on Sunday, offered sympathies to the Perry community.
“My condolences go to him and his family and everybody in that community,” he said. “What Perry went through, no community should have to go through, no parent should have to go through, the fear of even sending their kids to school, let alone parenting the victim of that type of tragedy. So, my prayers go out to the principal.”
Ramaswamy said he was in Perry hosting a campaign event the morning the shooting occurred, calling the day “emotional” and pledging to make schools safer as president in part by implementing his policy to put three armed security guards at every public school in the nation.
GOP presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson also remembered Marburger as a “hero” in a statement Sunday.
“America lost a hero today. I know all of Iowa is suffering because Dan Marburger died from his sacrificial effort to protect his students. He worked everyday to improve the lives of his students and on that day, he literally saved the lives of students. This is a day to remember a great man and do what we can to help a community get through their pain and loss,” Hutchinson said.