DES MOINES, Iowa - Over the weekend neighbors on the south side of Des Moines reported hearing gunshots near South Union Elementary School, someone else reported gunfire not far from the zoo.
After report of a rolling gun battle on Army Post Road Tuesday night just before 9:00, neighbors are preparing for what may be a rough summer ahead.
"INSANE!!!" One woman posted on a Des Moines group Facebook page. "Oh Jesus here we go." Posted another.
A couple of others in the group reported a car was hit in a gas station parking lot on Army Post at SW 9th in the Tuesday night shooting.
Yet another woman made an ominous forecast: "SOUTHSIDE is the new hoodrats."
Reports of gunfire have been increasing in south Des Moines over the past year.
Last summer a car crashed into an apartment on SW 9th during a rolling shooting, and bullet holes could be seen in the siding where a man said the bullet came inside his bedroom and lodged in the wall. In November a man was shot in the arm as he drove on SW 9th near Lincoln High School at the same time as students had just been dismissed and were walking on nearby sidewalks.
Fast forward to 2018. Just this past month a man shot at another man after the two had an argument outside the Hy-Vee store near Southridge Mall just before the noon hour. Customers were coming and going from the store as a man in a car shot at a man who was on foot. Des Moines Police found five shell casings.
None of the neighbors on the Facebook page offered any solutions, but one man may have summed up the frustration, fear, and anger many south side residents are feeling in one, concise word: "Bastards." He wrote.
Writer's note: The slang term hoodrats appears to have several definitions. The term is considered derogatory according to both Wiktionary.org and Neologism.rice.edu by Rice University. The most likely applicable definitions of the word given the context in the comment quoted above are: A hoodrat usually has low class behavior, is obnoxious, and tasteless with their choice of actions, words, and attire. The word hoodrat may also be linked to ghetto and hip hop culture.