- Associated Press - Thursday, January 2, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The father of a 14-year-old boy shot to death early New Year’s Day in Des Moines is asking those with information about the shooting to come forward.

The Rev. Ron Woods told the Des Moines Register that his son, 14-year-old Josiah Woods, was standing in a house’s enclosed porch when he was hit by gunfire from a drive-by shooting just before 4 a.m. Wednesday. No arrests had been reported by mid-afternoon Thursday.

The elder Woods called his son’s killing a senseless act of violence.

“He was not the target of the murderer, but he was the victim,” Woods said.

The shooting was “deliberate and intentional,” Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said, adding that police don’t yet know who the intended target was.

Woods said his son had left with friends from a house where they were celebrating the new year because the group did not feel safe there. The shooting happened after the group arrived at another house, he said.

The police need to hear more from the teens who were with Josiah when he died, police said.

“We are disappointed with the lack of cooperation from Josiah’s friends,” Parizek said. “We have got to hold those responsible accountable.”

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