Police: Off-duty county jailer displayed a handgun at car show

Local News
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police say an off-duty county jailer caused fear when he displayed a handgun Saturday during a brawl at a popular car show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Three witnesses called 911 to report that a man had a gun at the 28th Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals Giant Car Show in Des Moines. It featured 4,000 cars and had an estimated crowd of 10,000 at the time.

The man was identified by police Tuesday as Boone County Sheriff’s Department jailer John McCormick. He has not been charged but his gun was confiscated. Firearms are banned inside the fairgrounds.

McCormick, 45, of Madrid, allegedly brandished the gun while fighting with 69-year-old James Welshons of Des Moines. McCormick had accused Welshons of causing safety problems by doing burnouts with his car around children.

State Fair Police Commander Doug Phillips said he has conflicting reports about who threw the first punch but that McCormick reported fearing for his life. He says McCormick and Welshons were removed and the incident remains under investigation.

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