Don't Tread On Me, I'm DON SHOOTER!: Senator Allegedly Assaults Teacher

One Arizona school may need to hire guards to protect itself -- not from gang violence or fear of school shootings, but from Yuma Republican State Senator and advocate of guns in schools, Don Shooter. 

Yuma PD says that Shooter burst into a charter school for troubled teens that his grandson attends, where he yelled at and intimidated a teacher. A police report notes that the teacher, Danielle Munoz, would like to press charges. Shooter could be charged with assault, trespassing and interference or disruption of an educational institution.

An armed guard might have come in handy, because when Shooter walked into the school, the police report says he asked the registrar to speak with Munoz, to which the registrar said he'd have to make an appointment. The Senator then repeated that he was DON SHOOTER, and he must speak with the teacher. When a phone call distracted the registrar, the report says, Shooter snuck around her and headed for the classroom. 

Shooter barged into the room and stood at arms length from Munoz, who is listed as a special education teacher at the school. Shooter waved his finger in her face and, the report notes, he said, "Are you the teacher of this classroom?" to which Munoz replied she was.

"My name is Donald Shooter, I am [here] to... " Munoz cut him off by offering her hand and introducing herself, and then Shooter continued. "You have my grandson in your class, and let me tell you... " 

The arguing carried on and as another person stood between the two, Munoz backed up and began recording the confrontation on her phone. When Shooter noticed he was being recorded he walked out, according to the report. 

(The video was submitted as evidence, but Yuma PD Sergeant Leanne Worthen says because the investigation is still open, she's not sure when it will be available. And, on a side note, Yuma PD doesn't send files electronically and won't even fax its police reports, so if New Times did want the video it might be a long while before it gets to us.)

Munoz told the officer later that she felt threatened and feared for her own safety and the safety of her student, and would like to press charges. 

If bursting into a class and yelling at a teacher while repeating, I'm Don Shooter, wasn't enough, he then made sure to let Patricia Romant, operations director of the Yuma Private Industry Council, which is affiliated with the school, know that he is a "State Senator and very influential man in Yuma and in the State," the report says. Shooter then called Eileen Sigmund, president of the Arizona Charter Schools Association, to complain. 

Sigmund says Shooter did indeed call her afterward and explained that Munoz had belittled his grandson and he wanted something done about it. 

"Whenever I get any family calling we do the same thing," Sigmund says. "There is no special treatment because he's a senator."

Sigmund says the charter school is handling the matter and plans to set a meeting between Shooter, his daughter, grandson, and Munoz.

Finally, if there was such a thing as karma-irony, the Arizona senate recently passed SB 1325, which would allow some teachers to carry guns. Although there are some caveats to the bill, maybe Shooter will think twice about arming teachers if he plans on continuing to burst into schools unannounced -- or maybe he'll think twice about wagging his finger in the face of someone who is potentially armed.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Weston Phippen
Contact: Weston Phippen