On November 5, 2015, at approximately 12:50 p.m., Newport Police Officers responded to the 200 block of NW 55th Street on reports of a male subject shooting a gun in a driveway, and towards nearby homes. When Officers arrived on scene, they located Thomas Lester Hardman, age 50 of Newport, in the driveway of his residence. Hardman was pacing back and forth, wearing a holster on his waist. Officers gave commands to Hardman, with which he complied. He was detained pending an investigation.
Several witnesses to the incident were interviewed and positively identified Hardman as the subject firing a gun in his driveway towards other residences. Officers located several loaded firearms which included: two .40 caliber semi-automatic handguns; one shotgun; and one .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle. These firearms had been laid out on the front porch of Hardman’s residence. Several fired shell casings were located in the driveway, as well as some broken beer bottles that appeared to have been shot by Hardman, based on witness statements as well as physical evidence.
Hardman displayed signs of intoxication and had difficulty walking. He had an odor of an alcohol-type beverage coming from his breath, and his speech was slurred. He denied shooting any guns and invoked his right to remain silent. Hardman was transported to the Lincoln County Jail and lodged on charges of: Unlawful Use of a Weapon; Recklessly Endangering; and Disorderly Conduct 2nd Degree. His bail was set at $75,000.00.
Anyone with information they wish to report regarding this incident is asked to contact Officer Jon Humphreys at 541-574-3348.
The Newport Police Tip Line is available at 541-574-5455, or Text-a-Tip at 541-270-1856.