BARSTOW — A 19-year-old is behind bars after he allegedly threatened to shoot someone with a zip gun at an apartment complex Monday, authorities said.

Barstow Police Department officers responded to a call of a man threatening another man with a firearm at an apartment complex in the 2900 block of East Main Street.

According to authorities, the victim reported that while he was at the swimming pool area of the complex, a man named Jose Cortez approached him and threatened to shoot him with a zip gun, a type of homemade firearm.

"The victim said he has seen Cortez in possession of a zip gun in the past, which made him believe that Cortez would carry out this threat," Barstow Police Department officials said in a statement.

After learning that Cortez lived in the same complex, officers contacted him and Deputy Matthew Helms located a homemade zip gun in his possession, authorities said. After examining the gun, officers determined that it had "interchangeable barrels allowing the gun to discharge three different types of ammunition (9mm, 7.62x35mm and 20 gauge)."

The victim positively identified Cortez as the person who threatened to shoot him and officers arrested him on suspicion of making criminal threats and possessing a zip gun, according to authorities. He was booked at the Barstow jail.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Officer Helms at the Barstow Police Department at 760-256-2211. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-782-7463 or visit