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Des Moines Assault Victim Remains in Critical Condition While Police Search for Suspect

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The summer fun for several Des Moines children came to a sudden halt on Monday.

Residents near 7th Street and Indiana Street were in disbelief when police arrived after an assault shortly after 3:30 p.m. Monday left an unidentified victim with a severe head wound.

"There was blood everywhere," said witness Daphne Harper.

"It shocked me," echoed Luther Johnson.

The victim was rushed to nearby Mercy Hospital.

"His condition is very serious," said Sergeant Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department of the victim. "We are going to be monitoring that throughout the night."

Investigators say the suspect quickly fled the scene.

"We've obviously locked down the scene and treating it as worst case scenario and hope for the best," said Sgt. Parizek.

The area has become a trouble spot that police are well aware of.

"This is an area where we have a higher level of service. I think in the past we've had narcotics-related activity," said Sgt. Parizek.

Police aren`t the only ones noticing issues at 7th and Indiana. It's part of the reason 10-year-old Luther Johnson created his own non-profit Kids Against Violence to spark change.

"I've seen some homeless people get bullied and nobody was standing up or doing anything,"said Johnson.

Monday's violence is a catch-22 for Luther's cause.

"They have a front row seat," said Harper. "They are now more motivated to get out there, which is good but it's also a bad thing."

Police say that type of community involvement is paying dividends.

"This neighborhood here is taking a lot of ownership for what happens so that helps us and it looks like this is a case where it'll be beneficial for us," said Sgt. Parizek.

Police still have not released a description of the suspect or victim involved in the assault. The victim remains in critical condition but they expect him to survive.

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