A 13-year-old girl is in the hospital tonight recovering from a gunshot wound. Des Moines Police were called to the Park Ridge Apartments just after 11pm Friday. It didn’t take long for them to find the shooter.
“It was just a pop. Almost sounded like a firecracker,” says Joe Pahlka.
Pahlka heard a single shot outside his apartment. When he looked out the window, he saw a commotion at a picnic table on the playground.
“We hear kids, ‘Set her down, set her down’ and then we hear ‘There’s blood’. We’re looking out the window over here and a lady comes running with the phone lit up,” says Pahlka.
When police arrived, the girl had a gunshot wound to the neck. The officer says she was choking on her own blood and having trouble breathing. Medics rushed her to Blank Children`s Hospital where she was listed in critical, but stable condition.
A 16-year-old Lincoln High School student confessed to police, telling them it was an accident. He had the gun in his waistband and when he took it out, it fired and hit the girl in the neck.
“It’s scary. You can’t even trust your kids to come outside to go to the car. Anybody could have been walking by and gotten shot,” says Pahlka.
We checked with the hospital, but the girl’s condition is not being released. Police took the 16-year-old shooter to Meyer Hall. He is charged with carrying a weapon and discharging a firearm in the city.