So you know the reader is desperate to find out what happened after the shot rang out.
Republican activists are desperate to show America how angry they are; they're less desperate to win elections.
They want help—they are desperate for help—but they also want to be leveled with.
early 15c., "despairing, hopeless," from Latin desperatus "given up, despaired of," past participle of desperare (see despair (v.)). Sense of "driven to recklessness" is from late 15c.; weakened sense of "having a great desire for" is from 1950s. Related: Desperately.