It is a sad day when someone has to be afraid for their life because of a threat of violence. It makes it even worse when the threat of violence comes from an elected official who (is supposed to) hold the public trust. This is what happened in November, 2011. It was Republican State Representative Matt Shea, Spokane Valley, 4th Legislative District, who pulled a loaded handgun on Leroy Norris of Spokane County. Here is a YouTube video that we produced about the incident involving Matt Shea. Spokane is safer without him.
The Spokane Police Department and courts determined that Leroy Norris was in fact speeding and perhaps driving overly aggressively in downtown Spokane. Norris admits as much. As stated in the police reports based on interviews with Norris, “Leroy said he was . . . speeding as he usually does.”
Matt Shea, armed and dangerous
However, what Matt Shea did next made the situation 100 times worse. Republican Matt Shea decided to take the speeding infraction into his own hands. Shea drove up next to Norris and threatened him with his handgun that he pulled from his glove box. The police report contiues.
. . . Leroy looked in his rear view mirror he saw Matt [Shea] pointing his finger at him as if it was a gun. Leroy said, Matt [Shea] moved his thumb as if it was a hammer on a gun, while pointing his index finger at him.
Leroy said, “I was mad”, and, “I flipped him off right back”. Matt [Shea] then pulled along-side Leroy and reached behind the front passenger seat. Leroy said he [Shea] made a large swooping motion over the top of the seat, which is when he saw the gun.
Car chase at high speed
All hell then broke loose. Leroy Norris freaked out at the sight of Matt Shea and his handgun. With “fear for his life” he sped away in his car at a considerably faster speed, weaving in and out of traffic.
Leroy told me, “I freaked out”. . . Leroy told me he was driving, “crazy”. After he saw the gun, he just wanted to get away. He told me he was slowing then speeding up with traffic in an attempt to get away from and maneuver around Matt [Shea]. When Leroy got to approx. 4th Ave, he called police to report what was happening.
Leroy told me he was not only afraid, but was afraid for his life. Leroy went on to say, “the only thing I could think of was to speed up then slam on my brakes to get the guy to rear end me so I could take his car out of commission. I would have taken off, I hate to hit and run someone, but I was going to call right after where I knew it was safe”.
Shea showed little or no concern for the safety of other motorists or pedestrians. Republican State Representative Matt Shea chased him with his illegal handgun up South Monroe to 29th Ave. One or both cars speeding at 60 miles per hour at times through the residential area.
Matt Shea Cited for Two Firearms Violations
As some point in this course of events or soon after, Leroy Norris, Matt Shea, and a bystander all called 911. After their initial investigation, the Spokane Police Department decided that there was insufficient evidence to cite Norris. They wrote in the police report as follows.
At this time, [probably cause] does not exist for Leroy’s reckless driving as it shows he was attempting to get away to a place in which he felt safe.
However, Matt Shea did not have a concealed weapons permit for the handgun hidden in his glove box. The investigating officers also felt that Shea was threatening Norris with his handgun. This is also illegal. Therefore, the Spokane Police cited Matt Shea with two violations of the State’s firearm law. The Police Report reads as follows.
At this time the defendant [Matt Shea] is in violation of, RCW 9.41.050, the Carrying of Firearms law by the following (in pertinent summary): A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and the pistol is on the licensee’s person, the licensee is within the vehicle at all time the pistol is there, or the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and is concealed from view from outside the vehicle.
At this time the defendant [Matt Shea] is also in violation of, RCW 9.41.270, Weapons Apparently Capable of Producing Bodily Harm-Unlawful Carrying or Handling by the following (in pertinent summary): It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm in a manner under circumstances and at a time and place that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons. This is clearly shown by the victim’s belief it was an emergent necessity to avoid and maneuver around the defendant [Matt Shea], and attempt to get away from the defendant, in the manner in which he did.
After more due process, the prosecutor decided to only charge Matt Shea for the first offense of having a conceal weapon without permit. Again, here is a YouTube video that we produced about the incident involving Matt Shea.Pin It
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