The state’s largest county is trying to curb an outbreak of deadly shootings in recent weeks. During the month of January, nine people died in Polk County from gunshot wounds — one at the hands of police. Polk County Attorney John Sarcone says six of the deaths occurred within a single week. He says there hope is that the deaths were a blip on the radar screen, as he says it was one of the deadliest times in the area’s history. Two of the January shootings involved people who fled police, and then fire shots at officers. Sarcone says running from the law is becoming a statewide problem. He says when deadly force is used against law enforcement, it’s going to provoke a like response, not only for the officer’s safety, but for others. Sarcone says if you’re being stopped, don’t run from police — as he says it only makes the situation worse. Sarcone says officers stationed at schools in Des Moines and suburbs have been asked to convey that message to kids. Sarcone says the public can also help by letting authorities know if someone makes threatening comments and they have access to a weapon. He says there are people in the community that have mental problems and have access to guns. Sarcone says professionals need to know so they can work on getting the weapons away. A Johnston teen recently killed two people and took his own life. It was later revealed he had made threats to his friends about killing someone.
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