Des Moines Police have made 12 arrests in several “violent street gang” shootings, one of which happened Wednesday.
Around 1 p.m. Friday, shots were fired, and shell casings were discovered in a neighborhood on 10th street in Des Moines, no one was injured.
Police did arrest two people in this incident and say they were connected in at least five different shooting investigations.
The first on May 6th at 13th and Harrison and another on May 10th in the 3000 block of Clark where a participating 18-year-old male was shot in the head and is still in the hospital in critical condition.
Then one Friday in the 1500 block of 10th street.
Des Moines Police said these separate shootings are the result of a feud between two violent street gangs.
“There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of people who want to get hooked up with these folks and make a series of bad decisions. You know, we can do everything we can to try to deter them from that activity, but somebody is always going to make the choice and when the choice starts putting our neighborhoods in danger, we’re going to be there to stop it,” Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek said.
Des Moines Police said anytime they look into gang related crime, there is a link to some type of drug trafficking, but they say many times they never learn the true motive for shooting each other.
They said five illegally possessed firearms have been recovered during the course of this investigation, four of which were directly connected to these shootings.
The Des Moines Police said using forensic technology that connects guns to shell casings and bullets to guns has helped push this investigation forward.
But they said what has helped the most is the support from witnesses in and neighbors who are fed up with the crime.
“None of these neighborhoods are breeding this crime, this is groups of people who bring this crime to these neighborhoods and bring this crime right down there where these families are trying to live their lives, and we’re here to say that’s not going to happen and we’re going to stand with them and they’re standing strong with us and we’re going to put an end to it,” Sgt. Parizek said.
Even though 12 arrests have been made, police said this investigation is far from over. So, if you see or hear anything suspicious in your neighborhood, report it to the police.