GEL GUNMAN: Neighbours feared Pedro Zepeda was armed with a pistol.
GEL GUNMAN: Neighbours feared Pedro Zepeda was armed with a pistol. Ross Irby

'Gun rampage' sends neighbourhood in to lockdown

AN IPSWICH neighbourhood went into lockdown and more than 40 police were deployed after reports of a gunman running rampage with a handgun.

The gun later turned out to be a relatively harmless gel blaster.

Bellbird Park resident Pedro Jesus Zepeda, 40, appeared at Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to two charges of dangerous conduct with a weapon at Bellbird Park on Monday June 3; and going armed so as to cause fear.

The incidents occurred in Nimerette and Moonyean streets about 6pm.

Prosecutor Sergeant Courtney Boss said Zepeda's conduct caused alarm to people due to his use of the weapon, which looked like a handgun.

Police were called regarding a man seen driving up and down the street in a Holden Captiva waving a handgun and yelling, "Don't f--- with my family".

"He was seen to have a Glock-type handgun," Sgt Boss said.

Sgt Boss said Zepeda was hostile and uncooperative with police at first but then calmed down.

Police found him with a black gel blaster gun that looked like a Glock pistol.

Its magazine contained gel balls.

A replica automatic sub-machine gun was located when police searched his bedroom.

"He says he plays with his nephew with the weapons," Sgt Boss said. "He denied pointing them at anyone."

Sgt Boss said 42 police were called to assist during the incident that involved a cordon of the area, the dog squad, Polair, and lasted more than four hours.

Magistrate Kurt Fowler said it was a classic case in which Zepeda was the only person who knew the gun was a replica.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said the automatic machine gun replica was not used in public, and police facts were that Zepeda presented a gel blaster in the style of a hand gun.

"It was foolish behaviour. He regrets that behaviour.

"There was nothing more sinister " Mr Fairclough said.

Mr Fairclough said Zepeda was born in Mexico, and was now an Australian citizen and a single parent to two children.

Zepeda was fined $2000, with a conviction not recorded.

The court heard he had no previous offences.



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