Summer Violence Continues, Des Moines Police Keep SET Active
The end of summer is being ushered out by a string of gun violence.
55 year-old Barbara Perry killed by a stray bullet on Friday, two men killed after a concert at the Seven Flags Event Center on Sunday, and Wednesday night a man named Jacob Simmons was shot in the chest near the corner of 30th Street and Boston Avenue.
Police say Simmons has non-life-threatening injuries, and has not been cooperative with their investigation.
“It’s Kinda frightening, it’s startling, I mean we’ve heard stuff like it’s Kinda a bad neighborhood but you never expect to see it or hear about it” said neighbor Alice Rogers.
It has only been two weeks since Alice and Shaun Rogers moved to their apartment just yards from last night’s crime scene. They say the violence is changing their behavior.
“You gotta stick to yourselves but be on guard at the same time, it’s kinda on-edgy” said Shaun.
Des Moines police are also on guard, the recent string of shootings played a role in their decision to keep their summer Special Enforcement Team on active duty.
“The beginning of the school year used to be the benchmark for us. Then we would start to see there was crime that would continue as long as the weather was nice; so we just keep working based on the response we get from the community, and what the data shows on whether or not we’re impacting the crimes we want to impact” said Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek.
Police say they have seen a positive impact as a result of the SET’s work. Parizek says the department isn’t seeing problems in the Southeast King Neighborhood like it used to, and the SET has taken nearly 50 illegal guns off the street.
Parizek says the department still has work to do.
“If we can show that we’re reducing the number of shots fired calls, then clearly we’re reducing the number of shots being fired, and we’re going to clearly reduce the number of people being shot” said Parizek.
For the Rogers family, they hope the police can accomplish that goal; not just for them, but for their three-year old son.
“There’s a park over there and I’m scared to take him to the park” said Alice. “We don’t even want to take him to the park or when we do go out it’s a very quick trips to just get means for the day” said Shaun.
Police say they have names of suspects in this latest shooting; they have not made any arrests.