Man charged after discharging a weapon inside home


A Perryville man is facing multiple drug and gun charges after firing a weapon inside his home.

According to reports from the Perryville Police Department, Shannon Joseph Hotop, 41, was arrested and charged with felony drug possession, unlawful use of a weapon, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia by officers who were dispatched Thursday to the 300 block of North West Street on a wellness check.

It was their second trip to that address that day.

"We had had a report earlier in the day, ironically, from somebody we arrested that said [Hotop] was acting erratically," said police department spokesman Cpl. Jeri Cain. "Apparently, he was fine at that point, and then an hour or so later, he decided to go do some more of the drugs that he had, because we got a phone call saying that he's Facetiming, saying, 'Look at all these people that are here in our house,' and had a firearm. So there was concern there for his safety as well as anybody else that would have wandered around."

At that point, approximately 2:10 p.m., officers were dispatched for the second time.

"We went and checked on him again and he met our officers on the front porch with a firearm," Cain said.

When officers arrived at the residence, they located a male subject — later identified as Hotop — on his front porch holding a AK-47 rifle. 

Following officer's instructions, Hotop put down the rifle and officers were able to secure him and the weapon without incident.

"Then one of the officers noticed smoke rolling out from the door — from the living room — so they stuck their head in there, made sure it wasn't on fire," Cain said, "and that's when they saw that the couch and the fire extinguisher had been shot."

After Hotop had been read his rights, officers questioned him about the weapon and the smoking couch.

According to a probable cause statement filed in the case by Officer Jacob Ward, Hotop told officers there were people in the house and admitted to discharging his firearm into the living room, striking the couch, a wall, a door and a fire extinguisher.

"There were no people in the house," Ward wrote.

An initial search, however, did yield a wide array of drugs and drug paraphernalia including a small bag of methamphetamine on a dresser in the bedroom, along with marijuana, marijuana pipes and marijuana wax in a dresser located in his room and two handguns.

After being taken into custody, Hotop revoked his consent to continue the search. Officers obtained a search warrant and returned later to continue their search, which yielded an additional 30 firearms located in a gun safe inside the residence.

All drugs, guns, and paraphernalia were seized as evidence and Hotop was arrested and transported to the Perryville Police Department where he was booked and processed.

Cain said this arrest highlights one of the principles she stresses to new officers.

"As a training officer, I always tell my new officers, Just because it's a check the well-being call, doesn't mean you don't have to be careful," Cain said. "You have to be extra cautious because you don't know if you're walking into a mental-health crisis, a domestic or nothing at all. You don't know what you're walking into.

"Calls to check the wellbeing can be some of the most dangerous type of calls for our officers."

Hotop is being held in the Perry County Jail on a $20,000 cash-only bond.