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Des Moines City Council Denies Liquor License to Bar Associated with Murder Investigation

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- On Monday, City Council members unanimously voted to deny a liquor license to one of the city's most problematic bars, which is at the center of homicide investigation.

On New Year's Day, 18-year-old Frederico Thompson Jr. was shot and killed outside the 508 nightclub. Police have yet to make any arrests or name a suspect in the case.  Two days following Thompson's death, the Des Moines city attorney asked the state to temporarily shut down and suspend the bar's liquor license.

The Des Moines Police Department called for the City Council to deny the license to the nightclub last week, citing it "lacks good moral character." Police says it's a bar that results in some the highest numbers of 911 calls in the city.

At Monday's Council meeting, the nightclub's property manager says denying the club its liquor license won't solve the issue of the bar's violent history.

"We have to tackle the problem of our young people harming and killing each other. How can we have real conversations within our community and within leadership to stop that from happening?" Eddie Mauro asked.

Teneshia Spears of Merritt Investment Group, which owns the bar, tells Channel 13 she is unsure of the bar's future but is looking for what the next possible steps could be.

Previously, Spears told Channel 13 she believes the bar is being targeted by the city due to race. When asked if she still stands behind that allegation, Spears tells Channel 13 she would rather focus on the victim's family and law enforcement's effort on finding the suspect.

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