Missouri man who threatened witness charged with illegally possessing a firearm

Gun Crime or Firearm

 A Kansas City, Missouri, man who threatened a witness has been charged in federal court for illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition.

Shannon L. Walz, 45, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition in a criminal complaint filed under seal in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, July 28. The complaint was unsealed and made public following Walz’s arrest and initial court appearance on Wednesday, July 29. Walz remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Walz was arrested following a foot chase by Kansas City, Mo., police officers on May 30, 2020. Officers were called by a resident in the Fairwood and Robandee neighborhood who had been confronted by Walz. Walz knocked on the front door of the person’s residence, the affidavit says, and when the resident opened the door, Walz told the resident to keep their mouth shut regarding a shooting assault that occurred on May 24, 2020. (The victim of the assault died from his injuries on June 10, 2020.) Walz shouted and waved a handgun in a threatening manner, according to the affidavit. The resident closed the door and dialed 911 while Walz walked away from the house.

Police officers responded to the call and saw Walz walking on James A. Reed Road. When Walz saw the officers, the affidavit says, he fled on foot. Walz ran through the property of a church at 9420 James A. Reed Road. He was captured shortly thereafter near the intersection of Bannister and James A. Reed Roads and placed under arrest. Walz had two knives and a .40-caliber handgun magazine (containing 10 rounds) in his pocket.

Officers subsequently obtained surveillance video from the church, which depicts Walz fleeing from officers and throwing a Hi-Point .40-caliber handgun into some bushes near the front entrance of the church. Officers returned to the church on June 10, 2020, and found the loaded handgun.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Walz has prior felony convictions for statutory rape and burglary.