Middletown residents call for business that was the scene of latest shooting to be shut down

Middletown residents call for business that was the scene of latest shooting to be shut down

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (FOX19) - Some Middletown residents believe the business that was the scene of the city’s latest shooting should be shut down; others argue that’s not fair to the owner.

Early Sunday morning, a man was killed, and two others were injured in a shooting outside the 513 Lounge on Verity Parkway.

Police say Jerode Daijone Hill, 29, was shot and taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died.

Just one week prior, on March 20, officers responded to the Middletown Lounge, about a block from the 513 Lounge, where a shooting took place inside the bar.

Officers say they found a woman shot in the head. They then discovered that a man, who was shot at the same bar, walked into Atrium Medical Center. The extent of either victims’ injuries remains unclear.

People across the city tell FOX19 they want to see an end to the violence their community has been facing.

However, there are mixed emotions about whether the 513 Lounge should be held responsible for the recent events.

“I’ve always heard if you’re looking for trouble or get into a fight, that’s the place you go,” said Dustin Lowman, who says he has only been to the bar once.

For as long as he can remember, he says, the establishment has always had a bad reputation.

“I’ve heard a lot of history of violence there. I’m shocked there was a fatal shooting, but not shocked there was violence there at all,” says Lowman

On social media, some community members are calling for the bar to shut down after Sunday morning’s incident. Some are calling it a hotspot for violence.

Lowman says he doesn’t want the owners to lose their livelihood but worries about people’s safety.

“If they’re going to heightened security, I think they should really really up their game on it if they want to keep it up. But other than that, at this point, it’s a little too late. They should shut the place down and move on,” he says.

According to Middletown Police, there have been 3 deadly shootings near the 513 lounge since 2017.

Alyssa Carroll says her experience at the lounge has always been an enjoyable one.

She believes it’s scapegoating to point the finger at the establishment. Saying the owners take the necessary precautions to protect patrons inside.

“They have bouncers. They screen people at the door, patting them down,” said Carrol.

She says the owners shouldn’t be held accountable for what happens when someone leaves the bar.

Instead, she believes people should focus on solving real issues affecting the community so that maybe some of this violence stops, instead of blaming small businesses.

FOX19 reached out to the bar owners for comment, but we did not hear back.

Sunday’s shooting remains under investigation. Police say no arrests have been made at his time.

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