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Press Release

Defendant who brought homemade gun to downtown Seattle protest sentenced to prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Efforts to resolve the case with mental health treatment fail

Seattle –A former North Carolina man who brought an improvised gun to a 2020 Seattle protest and threatened to kill police was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two years in prison for possession of a destructive device, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Devinare Antwan Parker, 31, was arrested Sunday evening, May 31, 2020, after he possessed an improvised firearm capable of firing shotgun shells. At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said, “The offense conduct was extremely dangerous…. It was a very volatile time when emotions were running high. He basically had a homemade shotgun which was extremely dangerous.”

According to records in the case, at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday evening, May 31, 2020, two Seattle Police Officers were driving their marked patrol car north on Third Avenue near Benaroya Hall. They saw Parker, who was downtown in violation of the curfew, walking down the middle of the street. Parker was ultimately arrested. When he was searched, officers found an improvised firearm constructed of two pieces of pipe and a firing pin with a laser pointer/ flashlight attached to the side. Parker also carried several shotgun shells that fit the device.

As he was being arrested, Parker shouted at the officers that he brought the weapon to the protest to shoot and kill police officers.

Homemade shotgun

Following Parker’s federal arrest, prosecutors worked with his counsel to get him mental health treatment and the opportunity to resolve the case in King County’s mental health court. However, Parker repeatedly refused to participate in the mental health program, violated the conditions of his release with illicit drug use, and posted images on social media showing him using marijuana and displaying drugs, large amounts of cash, and apparent firearms parts.

In asking the court for a 27-month sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Erin H. Becker wrote to the court, “The government has struggled at length to reach a resolution in this case that would ensure community safety. For a long time, the government believed that this goal could be achieved through Mental Health Court. Parker’s mental illnesses and presumed addictions obviously present a danger to the community, and they may well have contributed to his offense. MHC offered an avenue for intensive oversight and supportive treatment to mitigate those risks. Unfortunately, it appeared that everyone wanted such a resolution except for Parker.”

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin H. Becker.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated June 8, 2023

Firearms Offenses