DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — On Sunday, Des Moines police officers responded to an active shooter alert coming over dispatch as reports came in of a gunshot at Hy-Vee on Euclid Avenue.
Once police got to the store and controlled the scene, witness testimony and video camera footage would fill in the blanks of an altercation between two women which left two people shot.
The shooter was also the victim, standing her ground as Kapri Lashawn Francis, 30, allegedly initiated a violent assault against the victim without provocation. After a scuffle the victim fired from her lawfully possessed firearm, hitting Francis in the leg and a bystander. Both were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and released.
The Des Moines police said that Francis had said that she was attacked, but over the six hours of collecting evidence, the department came to the conclusion that Francis was the attacker.
“The combination of the video and the witness statements were what sealed the deal on this. We could see that the victim in the case was attacked, and it was unprovoked,” said Sergeant Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department. “And then the witnesses were able to fill in some blanks when there was an off-camera scene there, and one of the things that was critical in their statements was that they reported that the victim was at one point in a headlock.”
A witness who was at the grocery store right after the gunshot described a scene that she said she had only seen in movies. She saw employees running out of the store and police officers armed with semi-automatic rifles.
“Immediately all I could think about was, these are my friends and family in Hy-Vee, all the workers,” said Michell Boyum, owner of Sun Seekers tanning, right next door to the grocery store. “That is where my mind said, ‘I’m going in’.”
Boyum said she is close with everyone in the store, and that running into the store was her first reaction. She expected to see the worst until she realized what had happened.
“Immediately, that is what I thought. My body was shaking,” said Boyum. “I just ran in there it was a major relief. I calmed down and I was still hugging workers that were bawling, my arms are right here, that is all I could do.”
The Des Moines Police Department recommends that anyone who is lawfully caring a firearm for self-defense should take a training course.