Public Safety

Man fired flare gun at federal courthouse in downtown Cedar Rapids, police say

A 39-year-old man was arrested over the weekend after he allegedly shot a flare gun at the federal courthouse in downtown Cedar Rapids, causing a small brush fire.

According to the Cedar Rapids Police Department, John E. Miller, of Cedar Rapids, faces a charge of possession of an incendiary or explosive device.

Police said officers responded to the U.S. Federal Courthouse for the Northern District of Iowa, at 111 Seventh Ave. SE, at 5:19 p.m. Thursday for a flare round that had been located on the ground.

Federal authorities informed the officers that a male suspect had fired a flare gun earlier that afternoon — at about 1:30 p.m. — and they were investigating. Authorities said the man fired two flares at the courthouse building, igniting a small brush fire that was quickly extinguished.

The man then fled the area. Police said video surveillance was used to identify the suspect as Miller.

On Saturday, just before 3 p.m., the United States Marshals Service and local police located Miller at 1021 Third Ave. SE and he was taken into custody.

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