Key Witnesses to Des Moines’ 14th Homicide Could Face Charges of Their Own

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Police are noticeably upset after what they describe as a rolling gun battle between two cars happened Tuesday on 30th Street, right next to Monroe Elementary School.

“No regard for the other people driving down the road, no regard for the children in that school. We're done, it's not going to be tolerated” said Des Moines Police Spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek.

On Wednesday, what started as a gun battle ended as Des Moines’ 14th homicide of the year.

One of the men involved was 23 year-old Choice Elliston of Des Moines. He was shot in the head, and died of his injuries Wednesday morning. Police say they discovered two guns in the victim’s car after he was driven to Broadlawns Medical Center.

“For the two known witnesses in that car the potential is there that they could face some charges. We have very little tolerance for the violence that's going on in the street. We are not cutting anyone any slack” said Parizek.

Meanwhile those who have students at Monroe Elementary are now faced with the fact that a homicide happened mere feet from where their children or grandchildren were in class.

“I'm thinking that people are getting pretty crazy and it's scary, and I don’t know, just thinking the same thing that everyone else is” said Susan Bledsoe, a grandparent of a Monroe student.

Des Moines Public Schools says they're pleased with how teachers responded after lifting the lockdown on the school, staying after to walk children home individually.

“The principal told the staff of the school, told everyone, all hands on-deck. Let’s make sure everyone gets home ok, walk kids off to their homes or apartment complexes make sure everyone got where they needed to go” said school spokesman Phil Roeder.

Meanwhile, the investigation is ongoing. Police do not have a suspect and witnesses are once again not cooperating.

“The saddest part is that they clearly don't have much regard for their own friend because they won’t cooperate with us. They probably have some valuable information that could be helpful to us and instead of owning their own behavior they want to go and lie and not talk” said Parizek.

The city has now seen more homicides in 2017 than it had all of 2016 when there were 13 homicides.

Police say the two groups knew each other, and this was not a random shooting.

A bystander’s car was hit by a stray bullet, but no other injuries were reported.


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