Investigation continues in Stateline shooting | RecordCourier.com
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Investigation continues in Stateline shooting

by Merrie Leininger and Timothy Bowman

A Stateline man shot Tuesday morning was still in serious condition at Washoe Medical Center in Reno Friday.

Hospital Spokesperson Judy Davis said James M. McGeehan, 29, was upgraded from critical condition Thursday.

McGeehan suffered multiple gunshot wounds at close range when he walked outside of his home about 2 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a man damaging the tires on his car.

Donald Ray Lawson Jr., 32, of Stateline, was arraigned Wednesday in Tahoe Justice Court on a charge of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and bail was increased from $100,000 to $500,000 because he is considered a flight risk. He will have a preliminary hearing Feb. 21 at the Tahoe court.

Deputy District Attorney Dina Salvucci said no additional charges had been filed as of Friday, but “it is pretty clear there will be.” She said her office is waiting until the investigation is complete before filing more charges, but plans to do so before the preliminary hearing.

Lawson directed police Wednesday to an undeveloped ridge on upper Kingsbury where he threw away parts of his gun following the shooting. Police needed to recover the gun barrel to do ballistics tests.

“They found the magazine and the barrel. He took the gun apart. The barrel is extremely important. Each barrel marks a bullet like a fingerprint,” Sgt. Lance Modispacher said.

McGeehan, who is a bartender at the Mott Canyon Tavern and Grill, was apparently involved in a traffic incident with Lawson on Super Bowl Sunday.

Co-worker Mark White Jr. said McGeehan told him about the incident.

“Jimmy had told me about it a couple of times,” White said. “When Jimmy told me about it, it did not really sound like a confrontation. Jimmy passed him on (Kingsbury) Grade and (the man) followed him home. The guy asked him if he had a problem and Jimmy asked him if he should have a problem. At that point, the guy brandished the gun. I told Jimmy he should call the police and he said he did not know who the guy was. He couldn’t make out any features. The really disturbing part is the fact that when he brandished the gun on Jimmy, he said, ‘I know where you live and I know where you work.'”

During the nearly week-and-a-half between the traffic incident and the shooting, McGeehan and the angry driver did not have any contact, according to White.

“It is so insane that something that happened on Super Bowl Sunday turned into something so horrible. It is very disturbing,” White said.

Mott Canyon Tavern is holding a fund-raiser Feb. 15 to help pay for McGeehan’s medical expenses. Organizers will be raffling prizes from 4 to 8 p.m. In addition, the employees have set up a bank account at Wells Fargo under James McGeehan’s name.