While the Centralia Police Department described an incident last Tuesday as a possible drive-by shooting, the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office this week filed significantly less-serious charges against a man arrested in the case.
On Monday, Bradley J. Lemaire, 26, of Centralia, was charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, a class C felony, and unlawful carrying or handling of a weapon, a gross misdemeanor.
He made his first appearance in the case Monday in Lewis County Jail custody, and was granted $10,000 bail.
According to court documents and the Centralia police department, the incident was reported at 11:42 a.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of South Silver Street.
A person reported a driver “showed” him a gun while driving by. While the person said he didn’t see the driver shoot at him, he reported he heard a gunshot after the car drove by. Two other people reportedly heard the gunshot as well.
Another witness identified the car as a 2012 Volkswagen CC, which was traced to Lemaire, according to court documents. That person reported seeing a semi-automatic handgun in the vehicle.
Police searched the vehicle later, and reported finding the vehicle hidden behind a gate and corrugated roof panels with its license plates removed, though the engine was still warm. Officers searched the vehicle and reported finding loose .40 caliber bullets around the gas pedal and a zippered bag with more bullets in side the trunk. In the yard near the car, officers found a pistol magazine containing more .40 caliber bullets. They did not find the gun.
The initial witness later told police Lemaire hadn’t shot the gun but that the car must have backfired.