Man arrested after firing shotgun in air as fireworks protest

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A man several witnesses claimed fired a shotgun in the air while they were setting off fireworks was taken into custody after midnight on New Year’s Day.

According to an Austin police affidavit, people celebrating the new year with firecrackers near Gold Moss Cove and Windrift Way just before 1 a.m. Sunday morning were approached by Shawn Smith who was not happy about their celebrations.

One witness told investigating officers that Smith, 40, yelled ‘people have to *expletive* work’ and said he was going to get his 12 gauge. According to the witness, Smith returned, racked the shotgun and yelled ‘I’ve got a gun mother-*expletives.* He then allegedly fired two rounds in the air over his head.

Several witnesses were questioned, including one who said Smith was a neighbor and they were 100 percent certain he was the man responsible. They claimed to see him talking on a cell phone after the incident, telling the person on the other line he was scaring people for popping firecrackers.

Police noted in the affidavit Smith was easy for witnesses to identify as he approached them wearing a robe with his ‘fat belly’ hanging out.

Officers found shell casings on the ground and acquired amateur cellphone video from the scene that showed an obscured suspect firing two rounds.

Smith denied the accusations but admitted he does own a shotgun. Police took him into custody based on the evidence and charged him with Discharging a Firearm in Certain Municipalities.

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