MURDER ARRESTS: Two Charged In Shooting

Two men are in the Polk County Jail, charged with murder in a shooting on Des Moines’ south side Wednesday.

Police found 20-year-old Christopher Byers with a gunshot wound at 923 Frazier Avenue around 2:30 p.m.. Paramedics took Byers to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Des Moines police booked 20-year-old Joshua McCoy and 18-year-old Marquice Morris into the Polk County Jail on first degree murder and first degree robbery charges early Thursday morning.

Police say a lot of things led to the arrests but they say several witnesses played the biggest role.

Debbie Gray said she was outside when she heard what she thought was fireworks, but quickly realized it was gunshots and her neighbor, Christopher Byers was dead.

“I`ve seen him in and out for 8 years from what I’ve heard he was trying to clean up his life, he was trying to start over,” Gray said.

Des Moines police say since the crime happened in board daylight, a lot of people either heard or even saw what happened.

“There were folks not only outside the residence but inside also when this happened, witnesses in this one were very key in identifying the suspects as further follow up and arrests,” Sgt. Jason Halifax said.

18-year old Marquise Morris and 20-year old Joshua McCoy had their preliminary hearings Thursday – both were additionally charged with first degree robbery.

“We believe they had gone there just to commit the robbery however the homicide was a result of that,” Sgt. Halifax added.

Morris has a history with Des Moines police including burglary, robbery and assault.

He was in a work release program at Fort Des Moines correctional facility and had been granted eight hours to search for a job during the time the crime happened.

McCoy only had one run-in with police for a narcotics arrest.

Police say the two suspects and the victim all knew each other.

Both suspects are being held here at the jail on 750-thousand dollar bond each. They’re expected back in court on July 8th.

Wednesday’s homicide marks the 6th murder of the year in Des Moines.

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