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Matt Shea (R) Pulled Handgun on Motorist in Spokane

"I wish to state that under no circumstances would I support Matt Shea for any public office," Senator Bob McCaslin (R) stated to the Spokane County Commissioners as they were deliberating who to appoint to a vacate seat to State House.

"He [Matt Shea] is dangerous enough in the House, and would be a serious menace to good governance as a Senator" --Gary W. Smith, Spokane Valley 4th District Republican

He was speeding like he usually does. He admits it. Leroy Norris likes to put the pedal to the metal, and last November he was returning home to his residence on the South Hill at a fast clip in his Chevy Lumina.

Then, a pickup truck drove along-side of Leroy, and the driver pulled a handgun out of his glove box in plain view of Leroy. Leroy freaked out, and he took off at an even higher speed in fear for his life. Really, who wouldn't be afraid?

With little or no concern for the safety of other drivers, pedestrians, or kids playing in the neighborhood, the driver of the pickup truck proceeds to chase Leroy Norris up the South Hill on Monroe Street. One or both vehicles exceeded 60-miles per hour at times through the residential area.

The driver of the pickup truck was Washington State Representative Matt Shea (R). Despite Matt Shea's minor celebrity status as a local elected official, an officer of the Spokane Police Department recognized a threat to the community when he saw one. The good'ol boy network did not work for Matt Shea. Lt. Dan Torok of the Spokane Police Department cited Republican Matt Shea, Spokane Valley, for two violations of State firearms law in the road rage incident. Leroy Norris was not cited for any offense. To the right is a YouTube video that was produced by Eastern Washington Voters about the firearms incident involving Matt Shea with more info at SpokaneWatch.net

Specifically, Matt Shea was cited by the Spokane Police for having a concealed weapon without a permit, and second, he was cited for threatening a member of the public with a weapon capable of bodily harm. These events have been well documented in the Spokesman Review and in police reports.

Republican Matt Shea is up for re-election this year. He is running for his third term in Olympia for the 4th Legislative District seat to the Washington State House of Representatives.

The 4th Legislative District is solidly Republican. However, Matt Shea's antics have lead many Republicans to withdraw their active support from him and even give passive support to his opponent Amy Biviano. No polling numbers have been made public, but this broad based animosity toward Shea leads many of us to believe the 4th LD seat is in play.

Matt Shea, Armed and Dangerous

It is worth paying some attention to the police report to understand why the police cited Matt Shea for weapons offenses but not Leroy Norris for reckless driving.

As he [Leroy] approached the stop light at Main/Monroe where the street widens to four lanes, a green Ford Ranger sped up and cut him off. Leroy honked his horn at the driver of the Ford Ranger. Leroy admitted to then cutting in front of the truck and the driver then raised his middle finger at Leroy. Leroy said that the truck then pulled behind him and he could see the driver pointing his finger at him. As Leroy described the driver pointing his finger, he simulated a gun with his index finger and thumb. Leroy told us that when he saw the driver of the truck pointing his finger at him, Leroy raised his middle finger at the driver of the truck. . . .
Leroy said that the driver of the truck pulled into the lane directly to the east of Leroy and reached behind the passenger seat of his truck. Leroy saw the driver pull what he believed to be a gun, out from behind the seat. Leroy described it as a "black, semi-automatic" handgun.

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. The reporting officer described in these events in the police report as follows:

Leroy told me, "I freaked out". . . Leroy told me he was driving, "crazy". . . When Leroy saw the gun, he accelerated and began swerving around cars to get away from the green Ford Ranger. Leroy said that he feared for his life and his only goal once he saw the gun, was to get as far away as possible. Leroy said that he broke the law in his attempts to get away because he was scared.

With little or no concern for the safety of other motorists, pedestrians, or kids playing in neighborhood, Republican State Representative Matt Shea chased him with his illegal handgun up South Monroe to 29th Ave. The gun was also loaded. One or both cars were traveling through the residential area in excess of the speed limit.

Matt Shea Cited for Two Firearms Violations

As some point, Leroy Norris, Matt Shea, and a bystander all called 911 to report the situation. After investigating the matter, the Spokane Police Department decided that there was not enough evidence to cite Norris for any traffic infraction, which they mentioned in police report.
At this time, [probable 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, Republican State Representative Matt Shea did not have a concealed weapons permit for the handgun hidden in his glove box. The investigating officers also believed 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, and attempt to get away from the defendant, in the manner in which he did.

In the end, Matt Shea was only charged for the first offense listed above. He was charged for having a conceal weapon without permit. To the right is the YouTube video that Eastern Washington Voters produced about Matt Shea and his fire arms incident.

Domestic Abuse at the Hands of Matt Shea

After Lisa Shea could no longer tolerate Matt Shea's abuse, the marriage fell apart in 2007. She testified to the court during divorce proceedings that Matt Shea treated her like a piece of property and tried to control everything she did. Matt forced her to walk on his left and even pressured her to give him the inheritance she received from her father. Spokane County Superior Court recognized that Matt Shea had committed physical, mental and emotional abuse against his now ex-wife Lisa Shea.

His wife was granted numerous restraining orders that prohibited Matt Shea from contacting her and that ordered Matt Shea to surrender his guns. According to a September 21, 2007, police report, Matt Shea violated a restraining order against his wife in less than three weeks. The sources for all this can be found at SpokaneWatch.net and at TheSheaReport.com.

There are too many instances of poor judgment, violent tendencies, and unstable behavior from Matt Shea. He is simply not fit to lead the people of Eastern Washington from the 4the Legislative District.

Here is an audio file for the visually impaired --> Matt Shea (R) Pulls Gun on Motorist in Spokane.

< Sheryl Gordon McCloud for Washington State Supreme Court | Progressive Voters Guide: For those tough voting decisions >
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