Drive-By Shooting Suspect’s Mother Issues Cautionary Tale

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Winters in Des Moines aren't what they used to be for police.

"It used to be that if you worked the street in the winter time you could count on doing accidents and being slow and bored, and that just doesn't happen anymore," said Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek. Officers have been busy trailing drive-by shootings. "It is reckless thugs and guns, and this is what happens."

Since January 20th, there have been six drive-by shootings in three days. One took place on Saturday afternoon near 36th and East Court; two happened on Sunday at the Kum & Go along 3104 University and another at 27th and Clark; and three more were on Monday, one at East 13th and Mattern, another in the 1800 block of 23rd Street, and final in the 1400 block of 16th Street.

"Of those six that we're talking about, we are ready to either make an arrest or we have made an arrest in four of them," said Parizek.

On Monday, police arrested Ricco Mure in the shooting at 13th and Mattern. Police say he had three children all under the age of nine inside the vehicle.

Parizek said, "What are these idiots thinking? So many things can go wrong when you've got children and firearms."

Police arrested 19-year-old Alex Ray Simon Jr. on Saturday in connection with the 36th and East Court drive-by.

"It's a disappointment knowing that my son was allegedly involved in the said shooting," said Tracy Simon, Alex's mother.

Tracy said she noticed her teenage son running with the wrong crowd, but she could not get through to him.

"We fought for years with our son about good friends, bad friends."

Alex's decision to hang with bad friends literally clouded his judgement the day of the shooting.

"To be perfectly honest, Alex does not remember," said Tracy. "He was on some things that him and friends did and he does not remember. That's not an excuse."

No one was hit in the shooting, and police are unsure if there was an intended target. Sergeant Parizek said those can easily end up being the most devastating.

"It's extremely dangerous," he said. "Any time we have gunfire in our neighborhood the worst thing that can happen is somebody gets killed, and you take that to a whole other level when you talk about an innocent bystander getting caught in the crossfire."

Tracy hopes others who may be caught in a similar crowd can learn through her son's misfortune.

"When a parent is telling their child things, it's out of love, it is not out of I want to ruin your fun. This is a learning experience for him because he has to sit in jail. We are financially not set to bond him out," said Tracy.

Of the six drive-by shootings, two victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Police also arrested a juvenile in connection with the Alex Simon Jr. case.