Jan. 6 suspect charged with firing gun toward Texas officers

Apr 20, 2023, 3:04 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas man who agreed to surrender on charges from taking part in the U.S. Capitol riot but later that day fired a gun toward sheriff’s deputies who went to his house in response to a welfare call, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Nathan Donald Pelham, 40, allegedly fired the shots from his rural home on April 12, the same day he was told he was charged with four misdemeanors for allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 attack. Officers heard bullets “whiz” past them and hit objects nearby, according to an affidavit from an FBI agent. The deputies left without making an arrest, according to court records.

The Justice Department said no law enforcement officers were injured. An attorney for Pelham, who was arrested Tuesday, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The episode is an outlier in the more than 1,000 federal arrests that have been made in the Jan. 6 riot. Practically all of the arrests have been made without incident, including those of members of far-right extremist groups facing serious felony charges such as seditious conspiracy.

Investigators say Pelham entered the Capitol wearing goggles and a hat with the logo of the Proud Boys extremist group, but later denied affiliation with them. He allegedly stayed inside the Capitol for about seven minutes. About two months later, Pelham was stopped while attempting to enter Canada and told Border Patrol agents that he was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, court records show.

Prosecutors say Pelham had agreed to surrender on the Capitol riot charges when he was contacted last week by an FBI agent. Later that day though, a deputy from the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office was sent to the house in response to a welfare call made by a relative. A child was sent out of the house and deputies began to hear gun shots, according to court records.

Pelham lives about 50 miles (81 kilometers) northeast of Dallas.

Pelham was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors said.

In the case of another Jan. 6 defendant, a Tennessee man charged with assaulting an officer in the riot was later accused of conspiring with another person on a failed attempt to kill dozens of federal agents involved in the investigation.

Authorities have alleged Edward Kelley discussed plans with another man to kill law enforcement personnel who had worked in his criminal investigation, and made a list of targets.


Associated Press writer Alanna Durkin Richer in Washington contributed to this report.

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Jan. 6 suspect charged with firing gun toward Texas officers