Des Moines Police Targeting Illegal Firearms Amid Multiple Drive-By Investigations

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Gunshots placed two separate neighborhoods on edge early Sunday morning.

Des Moines police found multiple shell casings from a drive-by shooting at 2801 Cottage Grove Avenue shortly after 2 a.m.  “We don’t know why, but upwards of 15 shots were fired at an intersection there. Several cars struck," said Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Lisa Sheehan was asleep when gunshots jolted her awake.  She said, "It sounded like firecrackers because it was a lot of shots. Boom, boom, boom, boom."  Her 36-year-old daughter, an unintended target, was shot twice.  "One went in her forearm and came out the other side and then one bullet is lodged in her muscle and they don’t want to pull it out because it can do more damage," said Sheehan.  She added, "They are trying to let it come out on its own."

Two hours earlier at 1356 East 12th Street, a drive-by shooting left vehicles riddled with bullets.  "They put forth enough effort that it is amazing to us that nobody did get killed," said Parizek.  Police say one victim, Mafiano Brown, was sent to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries and later arrested on separate charges.  "It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances that he got shot, but he also did have warrants for domestic assault," said Parizek.

Neighbors like Dillon Lester couldn’t believe the damage they saw come daybreak.  "It’s not fun to see bullet holes right next to your house and shots right next to your family. It’s scary," he said.

A bullet hole that barreled through the home on Cottage Grove Avenue injuring an innocent victim remains.  Police say they have taken 20 firearms off the streets of Des Moines in the month of May alone, but with two drive-by shootings in the same night, they have their work cut out for them.  "Where someone is just in their home doing nothing wrong and a bullet comes through their home, that’s why we aggressively seek out these people, whether they are gang members, drug dealers or a garden variety thug that thinks they can shoot up our neighborhoods," Parizek said.

No suspects have been arrested at this time.  Police are asking for the community’s help for any information in either shooting.

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