Des Moines Police: Despite Recent Spike in Shootings, Gun Violence is Down in 2019

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Despite a recent spike in shootings in the Des Moines metro the last few weeks, police say gun violence has decreased in 2019.

Des Moines police have released more details about two unrelated shootings that happened minutes apart Monday night. They came a day after a child and two adults were shot while driving in Des Moines.

The first shooting Monday night happened around 8:45 p.m. Police say the victim was driving near SE 14th Street and McKinley Avenue when a bullet shattered his car window. He was hit by a piece of glass but was otherwise unhurt. The victim told police he wasn't sure why someone would shoot at him, but police do not believe he was targeted at random.

About ten minutes later, police say a 16-year-old was shot in his hand near 25th Street and Clark Street. He was driven to a hospital by family and is not cooperating with investigators.

Des Moines police say these shootings are part of a violent trend they have seen these past few weeks. Earlier this month, a man was shot and killed in the Sherman Hill neighborhood. This past weekend, two people were injured in an overnight shooting in Clive.

"For some reason we've seen a spike in the past few weeks of this year. Overall for the year, gun violence is actually trending down, so that's a positive thing," said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Parizek said these shootings appear to be isolated incidents and that the public shouldn't be worried by the recent uptick in gun violence.

"Your chance of being a victim of gun violence in our community is actually extremely low if you're making the right lifestyle choices and using common sense. We do get concerned, though, when they happen in the public areas because that's when you have innocent people being hit," said Parizek.

Police say the lack of cooperation is making cases difficult to close. They are asking anyone with any information on Monday's shootings to come forward.

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