A Santa Barbara man was arrested after he allegedly punched and held a gun to the head of a man he was dating over the weekend, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.
The incident occurred early Saturday during a fight between the pair in a parking lot near the suspect's downtown home, Sgt. Riley Harwood said.
Dru Ethan Stemm, 30, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon — a semiautomatic firearm — and other charges stemming from a domestic disturbance during which he discharged a handgun, Harwood said.
The victim, a 29-year old Claremont man, suffered minor injuries from being punched in the head and face during the altercation, and Stemm sustained a minor injury to his forehead, Harwood said.
Officers responded to the scene after multiple gunshots were heard at 1:13 a.m. in the area near 100 W. Haley Street, Harwood said.
"Upon arrival, they located Stemm and the victim engaged in an argument in the common parking lot for the residences at 119, 123, and 129 W. Haley Street," Harwood said.
When officers encountered the man, the victim was holding a handgun, a loaded Ruger LC9 9-mm pistol, Harwood said.'
Because of this, both Stemm and the victim were detained at gunpoint and handcuffed.
Harwood said investigation revealed that Stemm and the victim were in a dating relationship, and the victim had come to Santa Barbara to visit Stemm earlier in the day.
The men ate dinner downtown and then visited two bars, during which time Stemm consumed several alcoholic beverages, Harwood said.
An argument between the pair ensued while they were at a downtown nightclub, and they left, with Stemm driving to his nearby residence on the 100 block of West Haley Street and the victim walking there.
"When the victim arrived, he was confronted by Stemm in the parking lot," Harwood said.
Stemm was holding the 9-mm handgun, which belongs to him, and the two men argued, with Stemm ultimately holding the gun to the victim’s head and threatening him, Harwood said.
"A fight for the gun followed, during which Stemm punched the victim on the head and fired his gun twice," he said.
After Stemm discharged his pistol, he dropped it and it was recovered by the victim, who held it until police arrived.
Harwood said investigation indicated that Stemm was not trying to shoot the victim when he fired his gun, but likely did so in close proximity to the victim out of anger or to frighten or intimidate him.
Stemm was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, terrorist threat, possession of a loaded firearm with the intent to commit a felony, domestic battery, possession a loaded firearm a in public place and possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to commit assault.
His bail was set at $75,000.
The victim was put in contact with an advocate from the Santa Barbara County Domestic Violence Emergency Response Team, and an emergency protective order was obtained for the victim, Harwood said.
Officers canvassed the area of the incident for additional victims but none were found.