Des Moines Homicide Victim was Father with Another Child on Way

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Son, brother, friend and father.

"He was a great father. She was always number one to him. His wife is due any day now. He's gonna have a child that never knows their father," said friend TJ Smith, while reflecting on the death of Edmanuel Perez.

Those close to Edmanuel are still coming grips with his death. On Monday afternoon, candles remained burning bright from Sunday's vigil, held just feet away from where 21-year-old Perez was shot and killed early Sunday morning. It serves as a reminder for those who affectionately called him "Manny."

Smith said Perez would always stop by to check in on him when he was sick, "Just a true friend. He never asked for anything in return but always put himself out there for others."

Des Moines Police point out that this type of violence on Court Avenue is extremely rare. "It's no more dangerous than it has been and we don't think anyone is at great risk being down there," said Sgt. Paul Parizek.

The police department spreads private funds for off-duty officers to patrol downtown during nights they expect to be busy. "Unfortunate thing is you can't predict this type of incident and on a cold November night, we did not have off-duty officers this time."

The area's city council representative Christine Hensley says there have been discussions to install better lighting and add security cameras downtown but they need everyone involved to help shoulder the safety effort.

"I would like to see us be as aggressive as possible. The businesses are going to have to step up. They play a major role.  They are part of the issue and they need to help cover the cost of some of those. It can't just be on the shoulders of government to do this."

Precautions that may help prevent others from having to reflect on the life of friend gone too soon. "He was selfless. He was always about family and friends. If you needed anything at all he was there for you.

23-year-old Andrew Hurley-Boyd was also shot and remains in the hospital. His condition is still unknown at the time.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by the family members of Edmanuel Perez. He is originally from New York City and they are raising money for funeral expenses and transportation costs for him to be buried at home.  Donate to Edmanuel's GoFundMe page.

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