By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Downtown Mac firearm incident leads to arrest

A McMinnville man who police said does not possess a concealed handgun license allegedly pointed a firearm at three individuals outside the downtown Blue Moon Lounge last Saturday night, according to court records.  No shots were fired.

Justin Rex Warren, 36, was originally lodged in the Yamhill County Jail on one count each of first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of firearms and unlawful use of a weapon, in addition to two counts each of menacing and recklessly endangering another person. Bail was set at $182,500.

When arraigned Monday before Circuit Court Judge John Collins, Warren faced two counts each of menacing, a Class A misdemeanor, and unlawful use of a weapon/firearm, a Class C felony. He was conditionally released from custody.

An officer responded to the Blue Moon, 310 N.E. Third St., shortly before 9 p.m. on a report that a man was outside the business threatening people with a firearm.

Police gave this account of the incident:

One of three victims identified the suspect as Warren, whom he knew, and said he pointed a firearm at his friend and another individual.

The three were inside the Blue Moon and saw Warren. They went outside, not wanting to have any contact with him. Warren followed them out of the business and asked the individual who originally identified him, “what about the $60?” Warren had previously paid for drinks for the three and wanted his money back.

Warren walked over to the group, lifted his shirt and displayed a black handgun in his front waistband. He then covered the weapon with his shirt, but soon afterward removed the gun and cocked it, which loaded a round into the chamber. He pointed it at them with his finger on the trigger. They said they were concerned they might be shot.

A video obtained from the Blue Moon showed Warren following the three outside and walking toward them. It showed him pulling an “object” out of his waistband and holding it on his right side. It appeared to be a black firearm based on the size, location from which it was removed and the length of the object.

Warren walked up to the group, the video showed, and one of the victims moved quickly away from him.

The suspect was contacted at his Northeast McMinnville residence and said he never had a gun despite being confronted with the video and victim statements.

Warren said he remembered going to the Blue Moon and having a confrontation with three individuals, but doesn’t recall brandishing a weapon.

He only asked one of the men for the $60 he said he was owed. He said the object he displayed was a cell phone, and said he imitated using it as a weapon by pointing it at the three men.

“Based on the size of the object shown in the video, Justin was not holding a cell phone,” an officer wrote in a probable cause statement.

Police were given consent by Warren to search his vehicle. No firearm was recovered. His phone showed an outgoing call to work in addition to an outgoing text message to an individual who stated he needed “backup.”

Photos on his phone included one of a black handgun that he said he took last month. Warren said the gun belonged to his roommate.

Warren will return to court to be arraigned on a grand jury indictment at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20.


Web Design and Web Development by Buildable