DES MOINES, Iowa -- Police say a shooting on Des Moines' southeast side is linked to a woman found later suffering from a gunshot wound.
Just after 1 a.m. Thursday, police were called to the area of SE 20th and King on reports of gunshots. Just minutes later, they were called to Southeast 14th and Park, near the Hy-Vee gas station. There officers located a woman suffering from a gunshot wound to the torso. Police say she was inside a car that crashed into a ditch.
The victim, Nakechia Talton, 31, is being treated at a local hospital for serious injuries. Bullet holes in the car were plainly visible and it appeared the back window had also been shot out. As officers worked on that scene, several others blocked off sections of King Avenue and scoured the area for bullets. Police say several bullet casings were found in the street and a home and two vehicles suffered damage from the shooting.
"There certainly looks like there's enough evidence to indicate there was an exchange of gunfire," Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department said. "We're really uncertain right now as to whether she got caught in the middle of that, or if there was something else going on."
Whether Talton was involved or just an innocent bystander remains to be seen - but regardless, a child's life was endangered in her vehicle; a nine-year-old boy was present, as well as an "adult male relative," according to police. Neither were injured.
"This definitely turned out as good as you can expect something like this to turn out," Sgt. Parizek said. "Considering that there were people sleeping in these homes, and there was a child in the car."
There’s no word yet on any possible suspects, but neighbors are still recovering from the news that what they heard outside was actual gunfire.
"I just heard the gunshots early in the morning, I was laying in bed," said Kathleena Kraus, a resident down the street. "I was a little surprised and worried, because, I mean, it's so close. When I heard the shots, I just kind of brushed it off, but when I actually found out they were actual gunshots, it kind of freaked me out. Because this is the first time this has happened for us, since we've lived over this way."
Kraus has her own daughter to look out for, and the gunshots have her family thinking about the safety of the neighborhood.
"I made sure the doors were locked, and that was about it," she said. "My fiance was texting me and was like, 'We might have to think about moving.'"