Iowa Principal Injured in January Shooting Succumbs to Injuries

( – A January 4 school shooting in Perry, Iowa, claimed another victim on January 14 when the high school principal died from his injuries. Dan Marburger put himself in harm’s way to protect the students at Perry High School as 17-year-old Dylan Butler began his assault in the cafeteria. Students were enjoying their first breakfast after winter break when Butler shot and killed an 11-year-old sixth grader named Ahmir Jolliff. Butler then reportedly committed suicide.

Marburger’s wife shared the news of her husband’s death on a GoFundMe page, writing that he “gave us 10 days that we will treasure forever.” The Marburger family also posted on the page, writing that Dan Marburger “gave the ultimate sacrifice.” They wrote about how his selfless act would live on within their family and the community. Claire Marburger said she was unsurprised that her father did whatever he could to protect the students. In a Facebook post, she wrote that she immediately knew that he would be identified as one of the victims and described how he attempted to reason with Butler while students were evacuating the cafeteria.

The school district released a statement following the news of Marburger’s death, noting that his nearly 30 years of service made an unforgettable impact. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds also expressed her condolences and ordered all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff until the sun sets on the day of his funeral. The school remains closed, and its reopening plans have halted after parents expressed safety concerns. On January 15 during a school board meeting, parents criticized the school for failing to take preventative actions to protect students.

Some parents suggested that all entrances into the school be removed except one. Others recommended a clear backpack policy or disallowing backpacks altogether. Both options have been adopted by many other schools. The board is also considering a virtual learning option for students until reopening plans can be finalized.

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