Tragedy Takes Second Brother From Des Moines Woman In Eighteen Months

DES MOINES, Iowa  --   A metro family is now dealing with heartbreak that's becoming all too familiar.

"It's sorry.  Des Moines now is a very sorry place," said Candice Carr, while reflecting on the elevated number of homicides in Iowa's capital city.

Less than two weeks ago, that number directly affected her family.

"For me to get that knock on the door and say somebody shot him and he was dead, that was just unreal for me."

That's how Candice learned her younger brother Jason Smith was shot and killed, along with Darnell Lee, in a Des Moines double homicide on June 17th.  It was sad news about a brother who lived life joyously.

"You'll always bust out with a laugh or something and he'd always brighten up your day every time you see him," said Candice.

The killer or killers behind both deaths continue to live freely.  "I wish the Des Moines Police could be a little better at investigating, but, you know, if you don't have people talking, what can you say?"

Candice says because of that, family members have few answers.

"All I know is that I'm burying my brother Friday.  That's all I know."

Investigators with the police department say an argument escalated at G & M foods, an east side after hours bar the night of the shootings.

"It is a coward way to handle a conflict in that manner," said Candice.

Candice's mother will now bury her second son in eighteen months.

"It's an emptiness for the whole family."

In December of 2015, Candice's brother Sammy Kemp drowned in a Grimes pond after a house party with friends.

"This is very heartbreaking for her to lose both of her sons," said Candice.

Now, Jason is one of 18 Des Moines homicides this year.

Candice said, "It shows that the people in Des Moines doing all of this don't have a regard for human life."

As investigators work hard to try and find a suspect, Candice believes in order to prevent others from feeling her pain, change must start with the youth.

"It doesn't start with the older ones that are doing it because they already have their minds set.  It starts with the little kids.  We have to teach them that violence is not the answer."

Funeral services for Jason Smith will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 30th at Faith Tabernacle in West Des Moines.  Memorial contributions for the family can be made at Hamilton Funeral Home.