Man admits shooting at parish door, six cars after priest was unavailable

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JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City police say a man has confessed to firing 12 rounds at six cars at a state office and taking a single shot at a parish door of the St. Joseph Cathedral Parish office.

Jefferson City police were called to the parish building on Monday morning because glass had been broken in what looked like vandalism. When officers checked out a surveillance video, they saw a man knocking on the front door around 1:45 a.m. Saturday. When he got no response, he shot through the glass, police said. 

Investigators identified the suspect as 43-year-old James Smith of Jefferson City. Police said they found Smith at his home.

A probable cause statement said he gave up his firearm in a "negligent manner" and he admitted he shot into the parish building because he was upset that a priest wasn't there to talk to him. 

The statement also said Smith confessed to shooting the cars at the Missouri Office of State Court Administrators. There was damage to windows, interiors and tires.

Smith faces charges of felonious unlawful use of a weapon. Smith was taken to the Cole County jail.

Parish deacon Dan Joyce said he was glad no one was hurt.

"We just feel really lucky that no one was there, or that he didn't come when school was in session and kids were around," he said.

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