Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins said he was mad at a tree. That's the answer Collins gave when asked why he was illegally firing a gun in his backyard.
The scandal surrounding Collins took a bizarre twist when police revealed the reason why he's facing misdemeanor charges and possible jail time.
"It really doesn't matter who the person is," said Tim Bedwell from the North Las Vegas Police Department. "We prosecute these cases in north Las Vegas because it's dangerous behavior."
According to police, on July 3 neighbors called 911 after hearing at least seven shots coming from Collins's backyard on North Decatur Boulevard.
When officers got there, Collins told police he was mad at his tree so he took a handgun from his truck and shot at a tree and a wooden post.
Officers found the gun in his truck. They also found casings in the backyard along with several empty bottles of beer and whiskey.
"We don't care what angle the gun is fired at," said Bedwell. "Whether it's through a wall, over two houses or straight up in the air, the danger exists in any of those cases."
Collins is now facing charges for firing his gun within city limits and disturbing the peace. The county commissioner didn't return our calls but a neighbor called the charges unnecessary.
"This is America and we have the right to bear arms," said Tonia Nevels who lives across the street. "Police maybe charged him because he's the commissioner and it probably wasn't setting the best example."
The North Las Vegas Police Department said in the last decade random gunfire has injured several people. Collins is seeking re-election for a third term on the county commission.
If convicted, Collins could face a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Collins is due in court next month.
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