Police Release Suspect Description in Des Moines Homicide

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines Police have released a suspect description in the shooting death case of Thurmon Cole.

The suspect is described as a black male with a very dark complexion who speaks with an African accent. Additionally, detectives believe that this person will have noticeable fresh injuries to the face and head area.

Police say there were signs of a struggle in the second floor apartment where Thurmon Cole was shot, and his girlfriend injured.

“The victim's girlfriend was there at the time of this, and what we can tell from the evidence we're gathering inside that apartment there was one heck of a fight in there and she did receive some minor injuries while that was going on” said Des Moines Police Spokesman Paul Parizek.

Police say it's too early to speculate about motive, but they are working to establish one.

“One of the things we're looking at is maybe this was influenced by some lifestyle choices and we believe that the suspect and victim most likely had some sort of existing relationship” said Parizek.

Outside of this case, Cole was known to Channel 13 News. In 2015 he was interviewed because he received a lifesaving kidney donation through an organ transplant chain at Mercy Hospital, he'd been on the waiting list for years.

“I just knew I'd probably get one eventually, like now when they brought it up to me, it happened so fast, but it'd been a long time” Cole said at the time.

The woman who donated her kidney to Cole says she hasn't been in contact with him since they met in 2015, but she remembered that he had been trying to move back to Illinois to be closer with family. Meanwhile, the neighborhood finds themselves shaken over the shooting.

“Of course it's scary anytime something like that happens…Just pray that it was just that one incident and that everyone through there is safe” said Jennifer Townsend

This is the city’s 10th homicide, six of those have been solved.

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