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Teen was Innocent Bystander in Shooting, Former Pastor Says he was ‘such a good kid’

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines police say that so far, 14-year-old Yore Jieng was an innocent bystander when he was shot twice in the head Monday.

“Unfortunately we`re dealing with another pretty cowardly act and we`re pretty certain this person is going to hide from us and we`re going to have to go find them,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Police are starting with a silver Toyota Prius that was stopped, waiting to turn onto I-235 at the time.

“As that Prius sat there it was beginning to make its turn and it was cut off by an erratic driver,” said Sgt. Parizek. “It was so close that it was nearly a collision. We`re pretty confident that the witness in the Prius might be able to give us some information about the driver in the car that was being operated erratically.”

Police say they aren't sure if the driver of the car was involved in the shooting, but his or her erratic driving was suspicious.

Meanwhile, friends and family are preparing for a vigil at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Freedom for Youth Ministries.

Two of his former pastors at the Cathedral Church spoke about what kind of kid Jieng was.

“You would never find a kid smiling like Yore,” said Connor McGin, Youth Pastor. “He's always got a smile on his face. The kid loves basketball, that's actually how we've been hanging out with him a lot the past three weeks. He’d be coming up here because we installed two new basketball hoops and he would just walk up here with anyone.”

They continue to wonder how something like this could happen.

“Honestly it makes me mad,” said Lucas Wolf, Children’s Pastor. “Yore is such a good kid. I guess he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and caught a stray bullet and if this were to happen to anyone, it shouldn't have been Yore.

According to Freedom for Youth Ministries, Yore remains in critical condition. His brain pressure is too high to operate on the bullet that remains lodged in the back of his head.