(STL.News) – A Kansas City, Missouri, man who threatened a witness of a fatal shooting 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.
The charges contained in this complaint are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Operation LeGend is a federal partnership with local law enforcement to address the increase in homicides and violent crime in Kansas City, Mo., in 2020. The operation honors the memory of four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, one of the youngest fatalities during a record-breaking year of homicides and shootings. Additional federal agents were assigned to the operation from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service.