A man claiming to be a trained Marine sniper threatened to assassinate a California lawmaker if he supported an assault weapons ban, newly unsealed court documents obtained by the San Jose Mercury News reveal.
Everett Fred Basham, 45, was arrested in February after sending a threatening email to Democratic state Sen. Leland Yee. Police uncovered several homemade bombs and firearms, including a .416 Barrett sniper rifle, at his Santa Clara home.
"I have 39 confirmed kills in afganistan [sic]," Basham wrote in his email to Yee. "Don't make me get to 40."
His military service has not been confirmed. Police also found fake Army credentials in his home.
The email provided a disturbingly specific details of how Basham planned to assassinate Yee. He warned he had several "hiding spots" near Yee's office in Sacramento and that his sniper rifle "can hit a spinal cord at 1.5 miles making a head become red mist."
In February, Yee said he would not be deterred by the threatening message, despite its disturbingly violent rhetoric.
"The threat was unlike any of the other ones I've received in the past," the California lawmaker said. "In the past I've received racial slurs, rants about my ethnicity and culture, about China. But instead this was a rather detailed, deliberate and exact set of strategies as to how he would carry out that threat."
Yee has proposed legislation to the California legislature that would ban so-called bullet buttons, which allow for quick reloading of semi-automatic rifles.
[Hunter with scoped rifle via Shutterstock]