DES MOINES, IOWA — Over the weekend Des Moines police officers responded to six shootings and five other reports of gunfire.
Early Sunday, police discovered one person with gunshot wounds in the 100 block of Water Street. Around the same time, two men checked themselves into Mercy Medical Center for gunshot injuries. Meanwhile, in a separate incident on Sunday, another man was shot in the 2100 block of Lincoln Avenue.
Investigators say everyone will recover. Police believe all of the shootings were not random.
“A lot of it’s targeted. So we know that there are some interpersonal relationships, which is quite a common factor,” said Des Moines City Police Department Sergeant Paul Parizek.
“But outside of that, there [are] a lot of guns out there. And there are many people who, for some reason, go to that gun to solve their problems. And that’s where we really need to focus our efforts is changing that mindset.”
Meanwhile, Des Moines city council members are also concerned about the violence, especially in the entertainment district. The council believes working with law enforcement and enforcing the law will help decrease gun violence.
“It’s working with our law enforcement to win when there are crimes committed to provide accountability and to enforce the law and to take folks who are dangerous off the street. We’re going to do all of those things,” said Des Moines Councilmember Josh Mandelbaum.
Councilmember Mandelbaum also said the council awarded funds from Cure Violence to the non-profit Creative Visions last year. Cure Visions is a nationally based organization that approaches gun violence from a public health perspective and provides training to address it.