Assassination of Michael R. Shannon
|Assassination of Michael R. Shannon|
|Part of the Styxie conflict|
Police cars arriving at the scene of the shooting
|Location||Bernheim, San Joaquin|
April 17, 2014 |
8:14 PM PST
|Target||Michael Randell Shannon, other republican activists|
|Weapons||Heckler & Koch MP5, Glock 18|
|Motive||Rico not being imprisoned, opposition to dissident republicanism|
Michael Randell Shannon was assassinated on April 17, 2014 at 8:14 PM outside of a local theater in Bernheim, San Joaquin after exiting the theater after a meeting being hosted by the New Sierran Republicans had concluded. Shannon, more commonly known as the Rico Cross, had been a controversial figure in the province of San Joaquin and the Styxie as a whole due to his affiliation with the Provisional Sierran Republican Army as a member of its war council. In 2011, he was arrested on charges of being part of the organization, but was released due to their being no record of him committing or organizing violence against Sierran Jacobites and other targets of dissident republicans. The trial concluded in 2011 and was highly divides within the Styxie and angered radical monarchists who accused Shannon of being a terrorist and a traitor to the Kingdom of Sierra.
Since his trial in 2011, Shannon continued his work as a political advocate for Sierran republicanism and criticism of the monarchy. He also worked as a known apologist for the Sierran Liberation Army and Sierran Republican Army from The Disturbances and defended their actions. In 2012, Rico was almost stabbed, but survived after managing to apprehend his attempted assassin. At the time of his assassination, he had been campaigning for the San Joaquin New Republicans and served as the Chair of its Bernheim Regional Committee. Michael was shot multiple times in the chest by an MP5 and was killed along with two others in a drive-by assassination by radical monarchists. To this day, the perpetrator remains unknown, though radical monarchist groups such as the Underground Royal Army and Red Rose Brigade are the primary suspects. After his death, Shannon was given a funeral and was buried in his home city of Reno City, Reno and his funeral saw a turnout of 3,000 people.
Following his death, members of the Provisional SRA broke off to form Rico's Independent Republican Army and carried out a series of terrorist attacks, murders, assassinations and bombings collectively part of Operation Broken Crown across San Joaquin and other nearby provinces in the Styxie. The most infamous reprisal attack was that of the murder of Christopher Miller, a Senator from Central Valley during a visit to Santa Clara in November 2014.
Rico's trial, 2011
Previous assassination attempts
On September 9, 2012, a man attempted to stab Shannon near a fast food restaurant in San Francisco City. The attacker was a 21-year old man who lived near the establishment. After spotting Shannon inside the restaurant, the man went to his home to retrieve a knife. When he returned, Shannon was leaving the restaurant along with friend and fellow Republican activist Joshua Wilker. The attacker walked up to Shannon, yelled "Death to the traitor!" and attempted to attack Shannon with the knife. Shannon managed to knock the assailant to the ground and subdued him, with help from Wilker and other bystanders. He sustained a light cut on his forearm in the struggle, but was otherwise unharmed.
The attacker was later named as Tyler Gardner. An investigation revealed that Gardner frequently posted pro-government content on social media, as well as support for anti-republican groups including the White Rose Brigade and the Underground Royal Army. After the conclusion of Shannon's trial, he had posted "the rightous [sic] force of the crown will get that traitors [sic] ass soon". Gardner was sentenced to 10 years in 2015.
New Sierran Republicans
Shannon attended a New Sierran Republicans meeting on April 17, at the Augies theater in downtown Bernheim. About a 100 people attended the event, which lasted for 3 hours and ended at 8 p.m.
Witnesses reported that at the time of the attack, Shannon was outside alongside several other Republican activists. In addition, there was a number of bystanders and pedestrians in the area at the time. At 8:14 p.m, a black SUV vehicle drove up to the assembled crowd and stopped in front of the theater. About 7 seconds after stopping, a gunman opened fire from the vehicle with a submachine gun, rapidly shooting a total of 21 rounds into the crowd. Shannon was struck 2 times in the chest and fell to the ground, mortally wounded. Seconds after the initial volley, a second attacker armed with a Glock 18 pistol fired 5 shots from inside the vehicle into Shannon as he was on the ground, then one other shot into another injured man. The vehicle then sped off. The entire attack lasted just 39 seconds, from the first round fired.
Shannon, the target of the attack, was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been shot a total of 7 times, with five of those hitting the chest and abdomen region and two striking his legs. Both of his lungs and his heart were hit. Investigators later concluded that the first two shots that hit Shannon would've been inevitably fatal on their own, with one bullet striking Shannon's heart and the other piercing his left lung.
In addition to Shannon, two other Republican activists were killed. Wayne Clemonts was hit once, the bullet striking him in the head and killing him instantly. Arthur Vincent was shot three times, with one bullet hitting him in the neck and severing important blood vessels, and another bullet striking the abdomen. Vincent died the same day in Bernheim General Hospital. Three other activists and six bystanders were also wounded in the attack.