PORT ANGELES — A 35-year-old Port Angeles man who told police he accidentally fired a gun Tuesday did not show for his preliminary appearance in Clallam County District Court on Wednesday.
Thomas Patrick Shea told police the firing of two rounds happened when he was cleaning his gun in his back yard, according to court documents.
District Court Judge Rick Porter ordered a warrant for the arrest of Shea — who has been charged with reckless endangerment — and expressed concerns over Shea’s alcohol blood content when he allegedly fired the gun into a neighbor’s unoccupied vehicle.
“This individual was allegedly handling a gun with a blood alcohol content of .284,” Porter said after reviewing an affidavit of probable cause.
“I have grave concerns for public safety and the fact that he is not here certainly accelerates my concern on that.”
Porter directed staff to get the warrant out to law enforcement as soon as possible because “they need to go find this guy.”
Court staff said Shea went to the court Wednesday morning after posting bail and was told to appear at 2:30 p.m.
Porter set bail for $2,500 cash or $25,000 bond when Shea is arrested again.
Prosecutors said they would need to more closely review the case and review state laws before making any additional charging decisions.
Shea was arrested Tuesday for investigation of reckless endangerment after a neighbor reported at about 3:30 p.m. she had found a bullet hole in her vehicle and heard multiple “bangs” about a half hour earlier. He posted $1,000 bail before his hearing.
Officers determined that a single bullet had traveled from the backyard area of 308 E. Ninth St. and went through two fences before striking the vehicle, records say.
No one was injured.
Officer Whitney Fairbanks contacted Shea, who gave police permission to search the home to make sure nobody inside had been injured. He denied knowing anything about a firearm being discharged.
However, Detective Shane Martin said police recovered a .40 caliber Glock handgun. Police recovered three spent casings and one live round, according to police reports.
When Martin told Shea he wanted to determine whether it was accidental and not intentional, he “quickly” stated it was an accident, Martin wrote in his report.
Shea told Martin he was cleaning his .40 caliber Glock pistol when he accidental fired two rounds, which he said he thought went into the dirt.
Deputy Chief Jason Viada urged people with any information about the case or Shea’s whereabouts to call police at 360-452-4545.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].