A North Carolina man has been charged in federal court with unlawful possession of a destructive device after Seattle police say they found a makeshift shotgun on him after he was arrested for hitting an officer with a beer can.
According to a complaint unsealed Wednesday, Devinare Antwan Parker reported that he had brought the makeshift firearm to the protests “in order to kill police officers, and that he was going to shoot all of them.” The charges were initially filed under seal Monday.
Officers found the homemade shotgun constructed of metal pipes, several 12-gauge shotgun shells and a knife when Parker was searched after his arrest, the charges allege. The homemade shotgun had a small laser affixed to the side.
The complaint alleges Parker threw a 16-ounce beer can at a Seattle police car in the 1400 block of Third Avenue during the height of Sunday’s protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It says that as the car passed a group of men standing in the street, Parker threw a can of Bud Ice through the open passenger-side window, striking Sgt. Doug Raguso in the face.
The complaint appears to be the first federal charges filed in the Western District of Washington in connection with nearly two weeks of civil unrest after Floyd’s videotaped suffocation death while an officer knelt on his neck.
Raguso exited the vehicle and arrested Parker for assault on a police officer and found the improvised firearm during a search, according to the complaint.
“This defendant came to a protest armed with a device that could have proved fatal not only to police, but to peaceful protesters in the area,” said U.S. Attorney Brian Moran in a prepared statement.
The complaint, filed by an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, states that Parker while in custody spit into the face of a King County sheriff’s deputy while in a transportation van, and “said something about being infected with ‘COVID.'”
Unlawful possession of a destructive device is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. Moran said Parker will make his first appearance in federal court after state charges against him are resolved.
During the protests, which began May 29, police say they have been pelted by rocks, bottles and fireworks thrown at them during the demonstrations. Protesters have accused police of using tear gas, pepper sprays and blast balls with little or no provocation.