DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines police say gang activity is what lead to gunfire and a police chase Wednesday on the city’s east side.
Around 11 a.m. Wednesday police heard 5-8 gunshots by a liquor store near East 25th and Easton.
Police say two men ran from a nearby parking lot and jumped into a black Dodge Stratus; that's when police started the chase into the nearby residential area.
The passenger of the car bailed out and fled on foot on East 28th Street.
The driver bailed out and ditched the car on East 35th and Kinsey.
The passenger was described as an 18 to 20 year-old black man, 5’8, 200lbs with curly hair.
The driver was described as an 18 to 20 year-old black man, between 5-8’ and 6’, between 150lbs and 160lbs.
While that chase was going on police arrested 19 year-old Darius Euvonte Stogner after he was spotted diving into a car driven by his father on East 32nd Street and Easton. Stogner, who had a warrant for his arrest, was charged with marijuana possession and criminal gang activity. Police believe he is related to the men involved in the chase and are calling it “gang intimidation”.
“The type of gang activity we see nowadays particularly here in the Midwest isn’t what we saw in the 90s. In the 90s we had influence from major cities like Chicago and Los Angeles as they transplanted their gang activity here for the purpose of selling drugs. What we've seen now is we have a gang subculture that has kind of developed on its own” said Des Moines Police Spokesman Paul Parizek.
Police call them "hybrid gangs"; loosely organized groups with no real structure. The majority of those responsible for the violence growing up here in Des Moines, not moving here from Chicago.
“We can say all day long that it's somebody from Chicago, or Kansas City, or Omaha, that's just pointing out finger at somebody else for causing our problems” said Parizek.
As the summer months begin crime goes up. The city's summer enforcement team was activated two days ago, and police hope the elite officers who are selected will help reduce the violence.
“They are a proactive unit who is often problem oriented. We identify issues and these are the people we ask to address those issues” said Parizek.
The two men who started the chase have not been caught. Police say if you see something suspicious, say something to officers.