A Umatilla man who shot a woman in the Richland WinCo last week was legally allowed to own a gun, police say.
But that wasn’t always the case.
Matthew D. McQuin, 45, lost his gun rights in the mid- to late-1990s after several drug convictions, according to online court records.
In 2014 he successfully petitioned the state of Oregon to have his rights restored.
Last year, he was back in court, charged with a misdemeanor DUI in Umatilla County. The conviction did not appear to have changed his legal ability to own a gun.
Richland police Detective Sgt. Drew Florence said his department is still investigating McQuin’s gun rights and waiting on official documentation from Oregon state authorities.
McQuin is accused of walking into a busy WinCo Foods on July 30 and shooting Jenna Kline in the head.
Kline, a 33-year-old veterinarian, did not know McQuin. She was released from the hospital later that night, though still needed surgery for the bullet wound.
McQuin is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Benton County Superior Court on attempted first-degree murder.
Washington is an “open carry” state, which means legal gun owners can openly carry without a permit. There is no residency requirement.
However, openly carrying a loaded handgun in a vehicle is only legal with a concealed pistol license.
The license must either be from Washington state or a state that has a reciprocity agreement. Currently, only nine states are on that list and Oregon is not one of them, according to the Washington state Attorney General’s Office.
“I am not aware of any (concealed pistol license) or anything that would have allowed (McQuin) to carry a handgun concealed,” Florence told the Herald.
But he “was not prohibited from possessing a firearm,” he added. He did not want to address the issue of carrying the gun, since so many factors can come into play.
Police have not said publicly how McQuin took the .22-caliber Ruger pistol into the store.
Surveillance footage at the Columbia Point Drive and George Washington Way store reportedly shows McQuin shooting Kline, then setting the gun on a checkout stand and waiting on a nearby bench for police to arrive.
McQuin, a truck driver and Army veteran, told investigators he believed Kline was part of a group out to get him and was about to spray him with a chemical.
The attempted first-degree murder charge includes the allegation that he was armed with the pistol when he committed the crime, which would add time to his prison sentence if he’s convicted.
McQuin is being held on $500,000 bail in the Benton County jail.
Florence said Richland officers are trying to finalize their reports and everything so they can hand the case over to prosecutors.
“We’re still just plugging away. It’s a tremendously large investigation with the amount of witnesses,” he said. “We’re still interviewing witnesses and making sure we have the whole investigation done.”