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Police Looking For Answers in Des Moines’ 15th Homicide This Year

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Des Moines is seeing a spike in violence, with some residents saying this is the most they have experienced in 20 years.

The city is averaging one homicide every ten days, and 15 people have already lost their lives this year. Out of those cases, six remain unsolved. Des Moines police say witnesses aren't cooperating in most of the unsolved cases, which makes it difficult for officials to find answers.

On Monday, the police department will join with area businesses for a new financial incentive to get witnesses talking.

This follows the city's latest homicide that left one person dead and three others injured after an early-morning shooting.

Robyn Falk lives on Beaver Avenue in Des Moines, and called 911 after she heard gunshots coming from outside her house.

"I heard three gunshots and then about 10-15 seconds later I heard three more," she Falk.

Hours after the shooting happened, police are still investigating and trying to identify suspects.

On Sunday morning, witnesses told police a suspect car fled the scene. This resulted in a pursuit that ended on MLK and Lincoln, where officers found one person shot inside the car.

"All young men, three from the Des Moines area, one from just outside," said Sargent Paul Parizek, describing the shooting victims.

At the time of the gunfire, a Sudanese engagement was happening inside the Zion Lutheran Church, but police say the men involved in the shooting were not at that event.

"What happened inside the church has nothing to do with what happened outside the church, other than we believe there was some sort of a family connection," said Parizek.

Police are now working to figure out what that connection is and gather details to solve this case.