DES MOINES, Iowa – Numbers show gun violence is an issue in the metro.
“Over the last couple years in the metro, we’ve seen an uptick in shootings,” Sgt. Michael Fong, with the Des Moines Police Department, said in a video on the DMPD’s Facebook page.
Residents are starting to see the rising trends.
“I don’t think the violence here with guns is that bad,” Salaam Chism, of Des Moines, said, “but you know the possibility it could get worse overtime.”
Darlene Hecke, of Des Moines said, “I know that there’s been more and more just here on the southside of Des Moines, not that far from the Capitol or the governor’s mansion.”
According to Des Moines Police, as of May 17 there have been 109 confirmed shooting incidents with 36 people shot, and 315 firearms taken off the streets.
A video posted on Des Moines Police Facebook page states over the last three years, officers have taken an average of 641 guns off the streets annually. Also, an average of 71 people have survived being shot each year. Police say they are on pace to exceed that in 2022.
Solutions to stop gun violence seem to differ.
“It isn’t the gun that kills people, it’s the person behind the gun pulling the trigger that kills the people,” Jerry Polson Jr., of Des Moines, said.
“Obviously, you put the guns in the wrong hands and innocent people start dying,” Chism said.
Many agree something needs to be done.
“What we need is a mindset change,” DMPD Chief Dana Wingert said. “And that starts not with the police department, that starts in the home.”
“Everybody has to do something,” Hecke said, “because to sit back and do nothing, it will happen again.”
Des Moines Police posted the video to their Facebook page on May 26, after the school shooting in Texas. With it, they wrote: “We will always stand between you and danger.”