Man says he meant to "scare" neighbors by shooting gun - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Man says he meant to "scare" neighbors by shooting gun

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Dubuque (KWWL) -- A Dubuque man says he went to break up what he thought was a fight in the apartment above him, only to end up arrested for firing a gun himself. Police say it happened at 815 University Avenue in Dubuque on Saturday night just before midnight.

20-year-old Joshua Schlarmann is charged with assault while displaying a dangerous weapon. Police say his blood alcohol content was 0.16.

Police and neighbors say a party was going on Saturday night in the upstairs apartment of the house on the corner Wilson and University. Around midnight, things escalated.

"One of my friends had run up, heard a gunshot, ran in the house. We heard a lot of screams and yells and then we seen a guy run out of his house and up the street, and he had blood all over his shirt," Ariel Drake said.

"We called 911 and told them what we heard, and we heard another gunshot, and heard people screaming and then like four minutes later, there's like 18 cops all around this block. I've never seen so many cops in my life," Stephanie Boyle said.

Officers say Schlarmann came outside and said he had fired the shotgun. According to police reports, Schlarmann lives downstairs and told police he went upstairs to break up a fight.

"It was one in one corner and two guys in the other corner, and those guys were trying to go at it, I guess," Boyle said.

Schlarmann told police when he went upstairs, six to eight men hit and kicked him in the face and knocked him down the stairs. He said that's when he got a shotgun from his apartment to scare the men and fired into the back stairwell .

"It had not been a situation where a gun was pointed at someone and fired. It was more of an opportunity or chance that someone was trying to get across a message that he was angry with the behavior upstairs," Acting Police Chief Terry Tobin said.

Accounts from people upstairs vary, but one of the men upstairs told police Schlarmann did point the gun at him, and another man said the gun went off while he tried to calm Schlarmann down.

Before going to jail, Schlarmann was taken to Finley Hospital for minor injuries from an earlier assault. He posted bond and was Sunday. No charges have been filed in the assault Schlarmann reported to police.

Police are still investigating the entire incident. Tobin says the incident appears to be isolated and not random. Even so, some neighbors say recent events are getting to be too much, worried to even be identified..

"Everyone here has kids. We all have kids. I can't even let my kids outside. I mean, we're moving. We're getting out of here. We've already given our notice and we're leaving," a neighbor who asked not to be identified said.

Police were called to the same block two weeks ago when neighbors say they heard a shot fired, though police haven't been able to confirm the sound was from a gun. Neighbors say prior to the last couple of weeks, the neighborhood was quiet and not violent.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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