Will Keeps asks for forgiveness in first post after Starts Right Here shooting

William Holmes, also known as Will Keeps, made his first public post to the community after suffering serious injuries in a shooting at his nonprofit, Starts Right Here, which left him in serious condition and killed two students.

In the Facebook post, Holmes apologized to the families of 16-year-old Rashad Carr and 18-year-old Gionni Dameron, who were killed after being shot multiple times while at Starts Right Here, the nonprofit Holmes founded to provide educational and other resources to at-risk youth.

"You both came to school and did y'all thing!! Believing in yourself is huge and you both did that. You both are so talented… im so missing seeing Gionni dancing and smiling and helping Rashad with his music in the studio," Holmes wrote.

Friends remembered Dameron as the type of person who "always had a smile on his face," and Carr as a talented rapper who had the potential to make it big in the industry.

More:What we know about injured founder Will Keeps and Starts Right Here, where shooting killed 2

In the post, Holmes also apologized to the families of the two boys.

"Yall trusted me to keep them safe. Please forgive me, PLEEASE!" he wrote. "I didn't move fast enough… DAMMIT!!!"

Preston Walls, of West Des Moines, allegedly shot and wounded Holmes and killed the two students at the nonprofit, located at 455 S.W. Fifth St., in downtown Des Moines on Jan. 23. He has been charged with two counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder and criminal gang participation. Police also arrested and charged 19-year-old Bravon Michael Tukes, who they allege drove Walls from the scene of the crime and communicated with him "before and immediately after the shooting."

More:Starts Right Here's founder was shot helping at-risk kids. It won't stop him, friends say.

Police have said the shooting was gang related and that Tukes and Walls were associated with the same gang, although the families of Dameron and Carr have disputed this characterization.

Holmes, a community activist, launched Starts Right Here in 2020 to offer troubled kids access to mental health services, job assistance and other educational opportunities. Staff often work with students to apply for college, build their resumes or learn about financial literacy.

Despite suffering severe injuries and needing to undergo surgery, Holmes' family said he remains "more determined than ever" to carry on the nonprofit's anti-violence work.

Francesca Block is a breaking news reporter at the Des Moines Register. Reach her at FBlock@registermedia.com or on Twitter at @francescablock3.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Will Keeps posts on Facebook after Starts Right Here shooting