Things have been violent in Iowa’s capital city in the last 24 hours, with three unrelated fatal shootings. Des Moines police spokesman Todd Dykstra says they’ve arrested one man for killing his brother yesterday afternoon. Sergeant Dykstra says 24-year-old Soklay Loeum is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting his brother, 22-year-old Roeutana Loeum, to death after an argument. Dykstra says the second fatal shooting happened around nine Wednesday evening at a bar in Des Moines called the Hickman Pub.Officers responded to reports of gunshots and found one individual in a car and another individual had gone into the pub and collapsed. The person in the pub was taken to a hospital for treatment. The man in the car was dead. Dykstra says they don’t know what led to the shooting or who fired the shots. He says they currently have no suspect information. He says they’ve interviewed several witnesses, but say it’s an ongoing investigation. He did not identify the victims in that shooting. The third incident began when a West Des Moines officer stopped a car for speeding around one this morning (Thursday).He says as the officer performed a drivers’ license check, he was informed that the driver was known to carry firearms. The officer asked the man to get out of the car, and the driver then sped away. Dykstra says a chased ensued and the driver made it through stop sticks and rammed a West Des Moines patrol car before a Polk County deputy rammed the car and got it stopped.He says the driver immediately exited the car and fired several shots at the officers. He says the officers returned fire and fatally wounded the driver who was identified as 20-year-old Ricki Garcia Junior of Des Moines. Dykstra says Garcia had “numerous previous criminal convictions for firearms.” One officer from West Des Moines, Polk County, the State Patrol and two from Des Moines have each been place on routine paid leave pending the completion of the investigation. No officers were injured. Dykstra says it’s been a busy time for his department’s homicide investigators. He says they’re being called up to perform “above and beyond” and he says they’re doing an outstanding job, and says they’ve been able to manage all three shootings. Dykstra says it’s just a coincidence that the shootings have come in a bunch. He was asked if things were normally slower when it’s this cold.He says it’s hard to predict random acts of violence and when they will occur. He says they have to respond at any time. The shootings come on the heels of a double-murder/suicide in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston, and the weekend slayings of two Hispanics after a barroom brawl led to gunfire.
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