Local East Village Business Owners Frustrated With Recent Shootings at Lime Lounge

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- One man is charged with attempted murder after an early morning shooting Friday outside the Lime Lounge in the East Village. It is the second shooting at this east side Des Moines bar in just one week.

Police arrested 28-year-old Mario Hutchinson around 12:30 a.m. after officers arrived to the Lime Lounge on East Grand Avenue on a report of a shooting.

Mario Hutchinson (WHO-HD)

When they arrived, they found 29-year-old Mohamed Hussein El Mamoun suffering from a gunshot wound to the face. He is hospitalized in critical condition, but he is expected to survive.

Channel 13's Whitney Blakemore spoke with a fellow East Village bar owner who says this one location is ruining it for everyone.

“People are moving down here so they can be closer to the heartbeat. Well I don’t want that heartbeat to stop,” Mongo Eikleberry, owner of Blazing Saddle said.

Eikleberry is one of dozens of local business owners in the Historic East Village, running the Blazing Saddle bar for the past 35 years.

“I want it to maintain the place where if anybody comes to Des Moines, they have to go to East Village because we are the happening place,” Eikleberry said. But he fears that all might change if incidents, like Friday morning's shooting at the Lime Lounge, keep happening.

Sgt. Paul Parizek says these reoccurring issues at the Lime Lounge are frustrating for the Des Moines Police Department (DMPD).

“The East Village is such a vibrant and typically safe area, so something like this really does stand out,” Sgt. Parizek said.

According to Sgt. Parizek, last year DMPD responded to more calls to the Lime Lounge alone than they did to the other neighboring bars combined.

“If you`re going to foster an environment that’s comfortable for people with guns to come into your bar, then this stuff is going to happen,” Sgt. Parizek said. He says DMPD is working on short and long term plans to mitigate problems at this particular bar, but he added step one for the establishment is to follow in their neighbors' footsteps.

“Follow the law, and on busy nights we will have security that will patrol through for IDs and if there is a problem, get out of here because we won't put up with it,” Eikleberry said.

Channel 13 spoke with city council member Joe Gatto who represents the fourth ward. He says he has dealt with the Lime Lounge before and they refuse to make changes or cooperate. He said Friday morning’s shooting is “way past the straw that broke the camel’s back” and will be doing whatever is necessary to fix the problem.

We also reached out to the Lime Lounge for a comment and have not yet heard back.

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