Duncan man in officer-involved shooting sentenced to 15 years in prison

Shawn Patrick Kelly was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for shooting at Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. John Mennen.

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

CLIFTON – After being found guilty by a 12-person jury of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for shooting at a Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office sergeant, Shawn Patrick Kelly, 53, was sentenced in Greenlee County Superior Court on Monday to 15 years in prison. Greenlee County Superior Court Judge Monica L. Stauffer pronounced the sentence.

On Thursday, Aug. 22, the jury found Kelly guilty of shooting at GCSO Sgt. John Mennen but also found Kelly not guilty on charges of kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against former Greenlee County Attorney Derek Rapier. 

Kelly was represented by Ivan Safyan Abrams, of Tucson, and the case was prosecuted by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office due to a conflict with the Greenlee County Attorney’s Office. 

According to police reports, Rapier had come upon Kelly at about 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 18, 2018, in Duncan. Kelly reportedly was depressed because he was being evicted from a commercial building he lived in just east of Hilda’s Restaurant. 

During their interaction, Rapier went with Kelly back into the building and said Kelly began drinking vodka. 

After a while, Rapier reported that Kelly’s demeanor changed and he eventually retrieved a .38-caliber 1871 revolver from under his pillow and pointed it at Rapier’s head with the hammer pulled back, according to Rapier’s statements to the police. Rapier said he eventually talked Kelly into handing over the handgun and he fled from the building with it and called authorities. 

Upon Sgt. Mennen’s arrival, he attempted to make contact with the suspect, but Kelly instead shot at him with what was later discovered to be a .30-caliber U.S. Carbine M1 rifle. 

Body camera footage of the officer-involved shooting between Shawn Patrick Kelly and Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. John Mennen.

Sgt. Mennen returned fire with his department-issued 9MM handgun, and then retreated to the rear of his vehicle and radioed about shots being fired, according to reports and body camera footage. He then moved toward the front of the vehicle and saw Kelly appear in the doorway, armed with a rifle that he held at his hip as he appeared to survey the area. Sgt. Mennen reported he called out Kelly’s name and fired at him until Kelly slumped over onto the floor. In total, Sgt. Mennen reloaded his weapon one time. 

Backup soon arrived and Kelly’s rifle was secured. Kelly reportedly was struck five times, including in his abdomen, chest, back, and left leg, and was flown to Banner – University Medical Center Tucson for treatment. The bullets shattered a kidney, fractured his leg, and lacerated his colon, among other injuries.  

The investigation was handed over to the Graham County Sheriff’s Office, which collected .30-caliber casings from the scene, along with 15 9mm casings from the deputy’s weapon, the .30-caliber U.S. Carbine M1 rifle, bullet fragments, a New England 12-gauge shotgun with five loaded rounds, six other rifles, various ammunition, and the handgun from Rapier. 

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