Angry motorist pulls gun on Aurora mom during argument in South Chambers Walmart parking lot

Man tells police he felt threatened

AURORA, Colo. - It's an evening Shakia Bush says she'll never forget.

She and her family had gone to Walmart on South Chambers at Parker Road to get some food when they were confronted by a man with a gun, who was angry that Bush was waiting in the traffic lane for another motorist to vacate a handicap parking space.

“He yelled at me to move out of the way,” Bush told 7NEWS.  “I yelled back and told him to drive around me.”

She said that when the man continued yelling, she got out of her car to explain that she had a handicapped child and needed the handicap parking space.

“That’s when he really started yelling obscenities,” she said.

Bush said the other driver then went back to his car and grabbed a gun.

“He showed it to me in the air, then held it to his chest and said, ‘B****, I have a gun. I will shoot your a**.”

Bush said the threat startled her, her sons, ages 10 and 11 and her niece and nephew, ages 5 and 2.

"My 10-year old son was saying ‘Mommy, he’s going to shoot you. I don’t want him to shoot you,’” she said.

Bush says she yelled, “He’s pulling a gun on a woman,” loud enough so that bystanders could hear.  She then called 911 on her cell phone and read his license plate number to the operator.

“That’s when he got back into his car and took off,” she said.

Police used the license plate number to identify the other motorist as Justin West.

Officers went to his house to get his version of events.

According to the incident report, West told police that he honked at the woman and she started yelling at him.  He said they got into an argument and at one point, Bush’s rear car door opened. He said he thought, “People were going to jump out and attack him.”

He said he told the woman, “I have a gun and will defend myself.”

“What was he defending himself from?” Bush asked, “a mom and four kids?  He was angry over a traffic incident. He hopped out of his car first and started yelling and screaming at me.”

The Aurora mom said neither she, nor anyone in her car threatened West.

West makes the same claim.

According to the incident report, he told police that “he never pointed the gun at anyone and never threatened to shoot anyone.”

Police say Walmart’s security video shows Bush’s car blocking traffic, and West pulling up behind her for about 60 seconds. It also shows West getting out of his car and the two arguing for about 60 seconds. They say it shows West waving and pointing his left hand “but you cannot see a gun in the video.” He then gets back into his car and drives away.

The report does not state why West got out of his car, nor why he didn’t just drive around Bush.

“I think he felt a woman was talking back to him, so he needs to prove a point,” Bush said.

When asked if there was evidence of menacing, Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania said, “There is no evidence to support felony menacing. Witnesses and video confirm the gun was never pointed at anyone.”

The police report does state that investigators examined and photographed the gun at West’s house. It was “a black .45 Remington model 1911 with a full magazine of ball ammo in the weapon and no round in the chamber.”

So far, no charges have been filed, but Bush says as far as she’s concerned, West broke the law.

“I really feel that people need to be held accountable for their actions,” she told 7NEWS. “My children were scared that something was going to happen to them.”

Former Denver prosecutor Karen Steinhauser said a gun doesn’t have to be pointed at someone for a felony menacing charge.

“It’s menacing if your intent was to put someone in fear of their life,” she said. “The question investigators have to ask is, ‘was he in fear of imminent harm?”

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