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Police: Man Rams Vehicle into Scheels in Coralville Mall, 'Dry Fired' Several Weapons Inside Prior to Arrest

Police say the Iowa City man did several thousands of dollars worth of damage up to and including ramming his SUV through the front wall of Scheels All Sports in the Coral Ridge Mall.


More details have become available from criminal complaints released by police regarding Joseph Albert Moreno, 23, and his alleged crime spree that ended with him ramming his vehicle into the entrance of Scheels All Sports and allegedly test firing several weapons inside.

According to criminal complaints from the Iowa City and Coralville Police Departments, the incident started at Moreno's residence at 220 Lafayette St. #201. Moreno allegedly told police after his arrest that he had become intoxicated and had gotten into an argument with his roommate who was telling him to stay in the apartment instead of leaving. In response, Moreno became upset and decided to express this by firing a gun inside the apartment "more than once but fewer than 10 times."

Later investigation by police following a search warrant found visible bullet holes within the apartment. Moreno allegedly later told a Coralville Police Officer that the shooting had been done as a show of force against his roommate.

At this point Moreno left the apartment and drove to the Coral Ridge Mall, where, at 2:35 a.m., he allegedly drove his Blue Ford Explorer into the glass front doors of Scheels All Sports, and parked inside. He then exited his vehicle while armed with a 9mm Glock handgun, which was caught on Scheels security camera footage according to a Coralville Police complaint.

Moreno is then accused of smashing several glass cases containing ammunition and firearms. He allegedly later admitted to police to "dry firing" several of the weapons. Although Scheels was closed at the time, the complaints note that Moreno did not have permission to be there and there were employees working a the mall while he was there, and he caused "thousands of dollars of damage" to the store. Subsequent bullet holes and 9mm casings were found inside, including four bullet holes in the windshield of the vehicle.

Moreno does not have a permit to carry a weapon, according to the complaint. 

Moreno was arrested by Coralville Police Officers at 8:45 a.m. after they took precautions when hearing the gunshots inside. He reportedly blew a .133 blood-alcohol rating following his arrest.

Moreno is lucky that no one was injured, as the sequence of events landed him with a bevy of charges including first-degree burglary, a Class B Felony; intimidation with a dangerous weapon, a Class C Felony; two counts of reckless use of a firearm with property damage, an aggravated misdemeanor; carrying weapons, also an aggravated misdemeanor; and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a serious misdemeanor. He is currently in the Johnson County Jail with a $42,000 bond, pending an adjustment for additional charges.

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