DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines police are investigating the city's fifth homicide of the year after finding the body of a 17-year-old male on the side of a street.
Police have identified the victim as Tyrese Parson. His body was found in the 800 block of East 27th Court around 6:30 on Friday morning.
“I'm trying to go to sleep, my dog started barking, I get up, sat up in bed. All of a sudden I heard, 'Pop! Pop!' and I was like, 'what the heck is going on?” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.
The neighbor went back to sleep, not knowing police would arrive on the scene hours later.
“We got the initial call about 6:24 this morning. A neighbor woke up getting ready to go to work, looked outside and saw there was a person down on the sidewalk,” said Des Moines Police Spokesman Paul Parizek.
Parson was found on his back, and when the medical examiner’s office arrived and began looking at the body closer, they discovered a gunshot wound.
“We've got a lot of work ahead of us, but we've got some witnesses now at the station that we're interviewing, we're getting some decent information that we can work with there. We're hoping to get this thing moving forward,” said Parizek.
The homicide has riled up neighbors in the neighborhood who say they've noticed a change in the amount of violence in their area.
“The last five months it's gotten worse. I'm tired of this. I work every day, we're buying our house, we're almost finished with it, we're almost ready to sell out because of this. My husband can't handle this,” said the neighbor.
Police say that unrest is helping their cause.
“It's definitely something that the neighborhood is not very tolerant of, they've been very cooperative and wanting to be very helpful, so that's nice to see and that's what moves these investigations along,” said Parizek.
At this point last year, there had already been 16 homicides in the city. Police say this being the fifth is much more in line with the norm.