AMESBURY — Police arrested a 28-year-old man after investigators said he fired a shotgun in his downtown apartment on Thursday that sent the bullet to the roof of a gymnastics school next door.

No one was injured in the shooting.

John A. Ames, who lives at Kimball Apartments at 125 Main St., told police he fired the shotgun by accident, police Lt. Jeffrey Worthen said.

The charges against Ames include three counts of possession of a firearm without a license. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment at Newburyport District Court.

On Thursday, police were called to Kimball Apartments at 7:25 p.m. after another tenant in the building reported a possible break-in, Worthen said. The tenants told police they left the apartment at 5:30 p.m. and returned an hour later.

The tenants found a glass door on a stereo cabinet smashed but no signs of forced entry.

Responding police officers found a hole in the ceiling and another one on a wall into the roof of Clipper City Gymnastics at 115 Main St.

Worthen said detectives later recovered the shotgun bullet from the gymnastics center roof.

Police determined the direction of the gun and started to clear out apartments before attempting to contact Ames who lives in Apartment 16.

When police knocked on his door, Ames knew why.

"I know why you're here," he told police, according to court documents.

Ames, who was in his fourth-floor apartment with his mother and girlfriend, was taken into custody. Ames' mother and girlfriend were not arrested.

Ames told police he fired the shotgun by accident, Worthen said.

Police secured a search warrant and recovered the shotgun fired by Ames, another shotgun and a 30-06 rifle.

While police received the call from the adjacent tenants, Worthen said police did not receive any reports of shots fired from the apartment building.

Along with the three firearm possession charges, Ames is also charged with unlawful possession of ammunition, rifles or shotguns, discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a building, disorderly conduct, and two counts of malicious destruction of property more than $250.

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