Oak Lawn police charged a man with felony reckless discharge of a firearm after a neighbor called 911 saying he had heard gunfire shortly after midnight on Jan. 1, reports said.
Police arrived to a home in the 9900 block of South Parke Avenue around 12:03 a.m. A neighbor said he had gone outside to start his car around midnight, when he heard a loud popping noise. He saw approximately two to three more muzzle flashes accompanying the loud reports.
Recognizing the sound as gunshots, the neighbor saw an arm disappearing through the door next door and called 911. While speaking to the 911 operator police said the neighbor saw a man come outside the same door and yell, “Happy New Year.”
As police were searching the area, a man matching the neighbor’s description exited the house where the reported shots were fired. He was ordered to the ground and handcuffed, reports said.
The man identified himself as Paul Blohm Sr., 38, of the 9900 block of South Parke Avenue. Police said that Blohm denied having a handgun but said he had a shotgun inside his garage. Blohm was wearing his pajamas and asked to go into the house to get warm.
Police escorted him into his house and removed the handcuffs. Blohm continued to deny any involvement and told police he had a few beers and was going outside to smoke a cigar, reports said.
Another police officer saw a shell casing lying next to a garbage can. The officer said he opened the garbage can lid and saw three more spent shell casings.
Confronted with the shell casings, Blohm allegedly admitted to firing off a couple of shots.
Police said Blohm granted permission to search his home for the weapon, eventually leading officers to the living room, where an empty, five-shot, .38 Smith and Wesson Special was found inside a Crown Royal bag.
Blohm was arrested and taken to the Oak Lawn police station. He said he had "cleared the area" before firing some rounds into the air and had intended no malice, reports said.
Police said that Blohn admitted to feeling festive after a couple of beers but said he wasn’t intoxicated. He “deeply regretted the situation,” according to the report.
He was charged with a felony had a bond hearing at 26th and California on Jan. 1.
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