An early morning car versus tree crash in Des Moines has turned into a homicide investigation. Des Moines Police Sergeant Lori Lavorato says it happened around 4:20 a.m. in the Drake Neighborhood.
The driver of the car, 37-year-old Stephen Joseph Scott of Des Moines, was pronounced dead at the scene.
"Looking at the damage on the tree and the vehicle, it did not appear that the cause of death was from a car accident. So, it was a little suspicious," Lavorato said.
A medical examiner noticed a wound on Scott’s upper torso. It’s believed the wound is from a gunshot, but an autopsy is being performed to determine the exact cause of death.
Shell casings were found a couple blocks from the crash. "We are investigating this as a homicide," Lavorato said. "Right now, we do not have any suspects although we are interviewing some witnesses and people that live in the Drake Neighborhood."
A window on the vehicle was shattered and people living in the area told officers they heard loud noises that sounded like gunfire. Lavorato says it’s not clear if anyone actually witnessed the incident.
Anyone that has information about the case is asked to contact Des Moines Police at (515) 283-4811. Lavorato says it’s the fourth homicide this year in Des Moines.