Court Avenue Employees Concerned About Safety After Another Weekend Shooting

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Employees at Court Avenue businesses are fearful for their safety while working in the downtown entertainment district on weekends, one owner says, after another shooting incident.

Two women were shot early Sunday morning at 216 Court Avenue. The building houses both Shag’s and District Bar and Grille. Police believe someone outside the building fired into a crowd inside the building. Police haven’t release the names of the two injured women. Their injuries were not life-threatening.

Two weeks ago another shooting in the Court Avenue District injured three other people. In the first four months of 2021, police calls to the area are up 5%. That includes a sharp increases in the number of fights, shootings and reports of a “person down.”

Amanda Thiravong is the manager of Pho Real Kitchen in the entertainment district. She says her employees now use a “buddy system” at night when walking to their cars because they are fearful to walk alone. She says the neighborhood and neighboring businesses aren’t the issue — but a few individuals are.

“We should be taking care of our home,” Thiravong says, “Where we’re at and stuff like that so I just feel like people should care about home, how it looks and everybody that’s in our home.”

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