Mill Creek man arrested for threatening the governor
The Washington State Patrol arrested Shawn C. Rowland April 21 at his home in Mill Creek for leaving a threatening voicemail message for the governor.
Last updated 5/1/2020 at 11:01am
Editor's note: this story was originally published on April 21.
A Mill Creek man who threatened Gov. Jay Inslee's life, and the governor's staff, was arrested by the Washington State Patrol Tuesday, April 21 in the evening. Shawn C. Rowland was arrested at his home in Mill Creek after an investigation into a threat sent to the governor and his staff in a voicemail message.
The voicemail was left with the Governor's Office of Constituent Services, and an investigation revealed Rowland was associated with the same number that had left the message. The same number had also been used in a threat made to the Virginia State Legislature in February.
"During the investigation, the suspect shared that he felt the Governor was violating constitutional rights with the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19. He threatened the life and safety of the governor as well as his 'workers, employees and their accomplices,'" WSP spokesperson Chris Loftis said. Loftis said the Patrol takes all threats seriously and urged the public to "allow our state and local leaders to navigate these unprecedented waters unmolested by threat and intimidation."
Rowland was booked into Snohomish County jail on April 21 on $15,000 bail. He was released the next day, according to jail records.
The Washington State Patrol is responsible for protecting the governor and his family, and provides law enforcement services at the capitol campus in Olympia.
From the Washingon State Patrol:
"The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has made an arrest after the investigation of a threat to Governor Jay Inslee and his staff.
Shortly before 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening, April 21, 2020, WSP contacted Mr. Shawn C. Rowland at his residence in Mill Creek, WA. Earlier the same day, a threatening message had been left on the voicemail of the Governor’s Office of Constituent Services by someone using a phone associated with the suspect. The investigation revealed the same phone had been used in an earlier threat made to the Virginia State Legislature in February.
"As a result of the investigation, the suspect was arrested and is being processed through the criminal justice system.
"'These are indeed troubling times for all of us,' said WSP Chief John R. Batiste, “and there are certainly points of consideration and debate in this unprecedented pandemic environment. But...” he added, 'no one has the right to threaten the life of the Governor, or any of the people who work for or with him as they address the myriad of important considerations associated with this unique period in our history.'
"Through state law, WSP is charged with protecting the Governor and his family and provides law enforcement services on the Capitol Campus. 'The public can rest assured that our executive protection efforts are robust and thorough. We investigate every threat and take every precaution to keep the Governor and his family safe. We also take the safety and security of every person who works or visits the Capitol Campus very seriously and we will take every legal and practical option available to pursue, apprehend, and prosecute those who threaten to harm anyone under our protection.'"
This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.