Coach fatally shot at Iowa high school
Alleged shooter taken into custody; no one else hurt
NBC News and news services
updated 14 minutes ago
DES MOINES, Iowa - A gunman shot and killed a prominent Iowa high school football coach in the school's weight room early Wednesday and was taken into custody shortly afterward, authorities said.
The gunman shot Aplington-Parkersburg High School coach Ed Thomas at about 8 a.m. with about 50 students in the school, including several in the weight room at the time. School was not in session, and no one else was injured.
Thomas, the 2005 NFL high school football coach of the year, was airlifted to a Waterloo hospital and died, his family said in a statement.
The suspect, described by the sheriff's office as an adult male, was being held in Butler County Jail. He is not believed to be a student, said Sue Muller, the Aplington-Parkersburg High School district's board secretary.
The district's superintendent and a guidance counselor were meeting with students who were in the weight room at the time of the shooting.
"No kids were hurt, we're thankful for that," Superintendent Jon Thompson told KOEL radio. "They did witness this and so we have counselors at the site to talk with the kids."
The school is in Parkersburg, about 80 miles northeast of Des Moines.
He was honored as the NFL High School Coach of the Year in 2005, and four of his former players are in the NFL: Green Bay's Aaron Kampman, Jacksonville's Brad Meester, Detroit's Jared DeVries and Denver's Casey Wiegmann.
DeVries, a defensive end with the Lions, walked off the practice field in Allen Park, Mich., toward the end of its morning practice, apparently shaken.
Team officials said DeVries was not immediately available for comment.
Thomas made national headlines last year when he insisted that the high school's football field, named in his honor, be rebuilt as a way to help restore community pride in Parkersburg after it was hit by a powerful tornado in May 2008 that killed six people and destroyed the high school.