Des Moines seeks to close east side event center where two people were shot in January

A long history of disturbances, fights and a January shooting that left one seriously injured led the city of Des Moines to sue the owner of a local event center to shut it down definitely its doors.

Des Moines filed a motion to stop allowing private events at Aplauso Event Center and Catering, 2134 E. Grand Ave., for what it says are ongoing public disturbances and fights dating back to 2020. If a judge approves the injunction, an events center could no longer operate outside the building by current or new tenants.

The event center was formerly owned by Lazlo Calderon, but he was barred from holding events at the venue due to past issues, according to the lawsuit. His wife, Patricia Chavez, was registered as the new owner in March 2022.

Aplauso Events and Dining Center, 2134 E. Grand Ave.

The petition alleges that police met with Chávez in October after multiple and continuing calls for disturbances to tell him the unrest was unacceptable.

Then, on January 28, two people were shot inside the building during a private event. A juvenile was hospitalized with a non-life-threatening neck injury and a man with a life-threatening abdominal injury, said Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek.

“We understand the occasional bar fight, argument or loud music — it comes with the territory,” Parizek said. “What stands out is when we start to have violent crimes like shootings. We’ve seen these situations out there and it’s a problem we’re trying to address.

The two people shot are recovering, Parizek said. Police are still investigating the case and have not charged anyone in connection with the shooting. However, she arrested two people on the spot: one for interference and another for assault for allegedly punching a police officer in the face.

More: No alcoholic beverages after midnight at Court Center bars, Des Moines zoning board rules

Chavez, who said she understood…

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