Des Moines Woman Killed in Homicide was Innocent Victim

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines Police say a 55-year-old woman became an innocent victim of violence in a homicide after dying from a gunshot wound on Friday.

Barbara Perry was shot in the head while sitting in the parking lot of the Family Dollar store in the 1200 block of University Avenue at about 3:30 p.m. Police say her 10-year-old granddaughter was inside the store at the time.

First responders rushed her to Mercy Medical Center where she later died.

"It`s definitely troubling to us when something like this happens," said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek. "We are looking at an innocent victim."

Based on the evidence at the scene, investigators say Perry was not the intended target.

"The evidence right now indicates that she was parked in the parking lot and the shot may have come from somewhere just west of there," said Sgt. Parizek. "We found some evidence of gunfire in the area and it looks like there may have been an exchange of gunfire or at least gun shots fired from one person at the intended target but none that hit. The stray bullet struck Ms. Perry in the head."

In addition, Channel 13 talked to Perry exactly two weeks ago about the shooting violence in her neighborhood and her fear of a stray bullet hitting and killing her grandchildren.

Detectives are also combing through other evidence, including surveillance video in hopes of identifying a suspect or suspects.