Shuey’s Interminable Affinity For Brutality And Larceny Leads To His Untimely End

Robert Allen Shuey, whose affinity for violence and methamphetamine along with a penchant for drug dealing, theft and mayhem left a multitude of ruined lives in his wake, died under mysterious circumstances this week.
There were two conflicting accounts of how Shuey met his end.
One report was he died of an overdose in his house.
A second version was that Shuey’s exit from earth was even more violent than his everyday existence. Unverified at press time was that he was shot in the face from near point blank range while he was at his home in Blue Jay.
In his 30 years, Shuey was charged with 13 separate felonies and more than 20 misdemeanors stemming from 17 different cases/arrests in San Bernardino County alone. He was convicted on seven of those felonies and 11 of the misdemeanors. At the time of his death, two felony charges stemming from a single incident on May 21, 2020 were pending against him, those charges being first degree burglary and assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury.
Since turning 18 years old, Shuey was sentenced to prison or jail terms totaling seven years and 257 days.
Among the felony convictions Shuey sustained were for drug dealing, theft, assault, burglary and weapons charges. Several of his misdemeanor charges involved fighting or assault. At the time of his death, the district attorney’s office was considering filing charges, either as misdemeanors or felonies, relating to two physical assaults – indeed severe beatings – he had administered.
Shuey loved to fight and had engaged in far many more physical assaults than he had been criminally charged with. In recent years, he had bragged that he had put over a dozen people into the hospital.
In 2016, an inebriated Shuey beat a uniformed security guard working the grounds of the Lake Arrowhead Marina, Pedro Chavez, to a pulp, because he said, Chavez was flirting with his girlfriend.
Shuey’s savage attack on Alex Opmanis in January 2019 precipitated the July 2019 fatal shooting of Shuey’s friend, Sammy Davis. Indeed, Shuey’s infamy escalated as a result of his role as a catalyst in the death of Davis, 28. Shuey fled the scene after the shooting, gathering up what some believe as crucial evidence that might have served to exonerate Opmanis. Shuey’s involvement in Davis’s death came to public light in the aftermath of Opmanis’s arrest and the filing of murder charges against him.
The events which triggered the July 11, 2019 shooting went back some six months prior to that. In January 2019, Opmanis, then 27, who had previously made the acquaintance of Shuey through their mutual interest in dirt bike riding, was at the Dogwood bar in Blue Jay. Shuey, who lived not too distant from the bar, invited Opmanis, who had been drinking heavily, to come to his home. Opmanis at some point vomited while he was at Shuey’s house, after which a fight ensued. Opmanis was beaten severely and required hospitalization as a result, losing a portion of his vision in his left eye from the trauma Shuey had inflicted. The doctors treating Opmanis considered it necessary to insert a plate in his head because a portion of his skull had collapsed.
Encouraged by his family, Opmanis filed a civil suit against Shuey. The filing of the suit antagonized Shuey, an avid motorcyclist and gang member with a reputation for stabbing people. During the February-to-June 2019 timeframe, Shuey made repeated threats against Opmanis and his family, on occasion in public places and situations. In reaction, Opmanis obtained a handgun, a Glock 27 .40 caliber, which he routinely carried in his vehicle, a black 2000 Mercedes SUV.
On July 11, 2019 Shuey and another avid motorcyclist, Shane Codman, then 28, had ridden their motorcycles down from the mountain communities first to Corona and then to a “Bike Night” in Riverside, where they met up with Sammy Davis around 6 p.m., in the course of which they were consuming alcohol. The three left Riverside around 8 p.m., riding their motorcycles to return to the mountains. They intended to stop at Goodwin’s Market in Crestline to purchase hamburger and beer before going to Shuey’s home in Blue Jay for a late night barbecue.
Meanwhile, Opmanis had gone to Goodwin’s Market, located at 24089 Lake Gregory Drive in Crestline. An external security camera at Goodwin’s Market, operated by Scottsdale, Arizona-based Clear Protection Services, Inc. shows Opmanis driving into the store’s parking lot at 8:49 p.m., and an internal camera also operated by Clear Protection shows him coming into the store at 8:52 p.m., accompanied by two individuals, one identified as Osvaldo Nuno and another known only as Johnny. Davis, Shuey and Codman arrived at Goodwin’s Market at 9:02 p.m., as recorded by the store’s external security camera, and are seen coming into the store at 9:04 p.m. While Opmanis knew both Shuey and Codman, he had no previous encounters with and did not know Davis, who had spent the better part of the previous decade in prison.
According to an individual speaking on behalf of Clear Protection Services, the video surveillance system in place at Goodwin’s Market consists of several cameras, all of which run continuously and are not triggered by motion sensors or any other devices which interrupt the video surveillance.
The most telling piece of evidence in the case involving Opmanis is the video taken from one of the store’s external cameras which shows the parking space where Opmanis’s Mercedes SUV is parked very close to the center of its field of perspective. The store’s other cameras, while useful in putting the events of that evening in a temporal order, do not actually capture the shooting itself.
At 9:06 p.m., Opmanis, Nuno and Johnny are shown on the internal and then the external cameras leaving the store. Thereafter, Opmanis puts groceries into his Mercedes. Between 9:08 p.m. and 9:09 p.m., the external video shows Opmanis talking to Nuno and Johnny while they are seated in Johnny’s vehicle, which is parked proximate to Opmanis’s Mercedes. Johnny and Nuno in their vehicle drive out of the camera’s field of view.
The external camera shows Sammy Davis emerging from the store at 9:09 p.m., at which point he lights a cigarette and spots Opmanis. The camera’s audio picks up Davis yelling at Opmanis, “It’s on you, punk.” At 9:10 p.m. on the external video, Opmanis can be seen standing on the running board of his Mercedes and remaining wary of Davis, Shuey and Codman.
At 9:11 p.m., the video shows Johnny and Nuno pull back into the parking lot and park, lights on, behind Opmanis’s black Mercedes SUV.
Opmanis remained outside his vehicle looking in the direction of the bikers. Shortly thereafter, the audio on the video captures the sound of the three bikers starting their motors. At 9:12, the motorbikes’ engines are rumbling loudly. Between 9:12 p.m. and 9:13 p.m., amidst revving motorcycle engines, the bikers, with Shuey in the lead, begin to move out from the parking lot, crossing in front of the Mercedes. As they pass, Shuey can be seen flipping Opmanis off with his right hand, which causes his motorcycle to momentarily swerve while he is making the hand gesture. This provokes Opmanis, who responds by himself flipping Shuey off. Codman and Davis who were following Shuey out of the parking lot, suddenly turn hard left to come up to Opmanis. Shuey, who had briefly exited the parking lot, then made an immediate U-turn to return to the parking lot, joining the still helmeted Codman, who is in a verbal exchange with Opmanis. Sammy Davis is at that point parked near the rear of Opmanis’s Mercedes SUV. Shuey pulls in and parks in between Codman and Davis, at the front of Alex’s SUV. At 9:13 p.m. on the video, Opmanis is surrounded by the three bikers, and he appears to be having a loud and animated exchange with Davis and Codman as Shuey has arrived. Davis dismounts from his bike. Shuey removes his helmet, dismounts from his bike, and approaches Opmanis. Davis is at the rear of the Mercedes at the same time as Shuey takes off his helmet and his jacket. Shuey then dismounts. Shuey and Davis approach Opmanis, it appears aggressively. Codman remains on his motorcycle to the far right in the video camera’s field. Market patrons are scattered about, with cars coming and going and other commotion. Opmanis, who is toward the rear of the SUV, makes his way back to the front driver’s side door that is open. Sammy Davis at first moves in toward Opmanis, but then circles around the back side of Shuey. At that point, it appears that the assault on Opmanis begins, followed by a crucial 12-second gap in the video that was presented as evidence during Opmanis’s preliminary hearing. When the video resumes at 9:14:08 p.m., the physical altercation between Opmanis and Davis is in full swing more toward the rear of the SUV than the front. A shopping cart or carts can be heard rattling violently in the shopping cart corral next to Opmanis’s vehicle. Shuey approaches the fight as Davis and Opmanis appear to be hunched over and struggling. The fight between them moves toward the front of Opmanis’s SUV. Shuey has his phone out with its light engaged, and appears to be videoing the fight. Two shots are heard. Nuno gets out of the passenger side of Johnny’s vehicle, still parked behind Opmanis’s Mercedes SUV with the lights on. Nuno immediately returns to the vehicle and Johnny speeds off. Shuey moves rapidly away and ducks behind a parked car. Shuey is crouching down approximately eight to ten feet away from where Davis was shot, very close to the SUV.
After the shooting, Opmanis can be heard attempting to summon help. When Opmanis produces his phone to make a call and Shuey begins moving toward him, Opmanis yells, “Get back! Get Back!” and gestures strongly to Shuey. Shuey momentarily crouches behind a vehicle.
By 9:17 p.m., a woman, later identified as an off-duty nurse, is seen on the video attempting to administer to Davis. The nurse later reported that Davis reeked of alcohol.
At 9:17 p.m., Codman mounted his bike and rode off.
Shuey remained at the scene for more than four minutes following the shooting, at one point retrieving something from Davis’s person or next to him. He then made a hand gesture towards Opmanis, put his helmet on, started his motorcycle and rode away at 9:18 p.m.
Opmanis, who was originally represented by attorney Jeffrey Lawrence, subsequently by David Striker of the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office and now by attorney Mark Geragos, has pleaded not guilty, asserting he was acting in self defense. Opmanis’s trial is scheduled to begin next month.
Davis, like Shuey, had an extensive criminal record, including a 2012 conviction for burglary, a 2011 conviction for receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor conviction for public intoxication, and a 2008 felony conviction for burglary. Just prior to the shooting, Davis had been released from prison after serving a portion of a sentence for assault.
It was anticipated that Shuey was going to be called to testify during Opmanis’s trial. He was considered to be a key witness for both the prosecution and the defense. There have been indications that Geragos and Opmanis’s co-counsel, Alexandra Kazarian, intend to make an issue at trial of the severe beating Opmanis had suffered at the hands of Shuey roughly six months before the shooting of Davis and Shuey’s participation in the assault upon Opmanis on July 11, 2019 just seconds before Davis was fatally shot to establish that Opmanis had a reasonable fear for his safety that justified the discharge of his weapon.
Shuey was yet facing the charges of burglary together with assault with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily injury relating to the incident he was involved in on May 21 of last year at 27115 State Highway 189 in Blue Jay. Shuey was arrested by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies working out of the Twin Peaks sheriff’s substation in the aftermath of that incident
Despite his multiple arrests and convictions, Shuey appeared until this week to lead a charmed life. Though he had been sentenced to more than seven years in prison, his actual time incarcerated was less than half of that. He was well-served by his attorney, Gary Wenkle Smith, who on at least two occasions kept him insulated from the often rough-edged wheels of justice.
There are indications that the sheriff’s department’s homicide detail, which was on the scene of the apparent shooting late Monday night, April 26 until late Tuesday morning, April 27, has not identified a suspect in the killing. The department has been tight-lipped with regard to Shuey’s death, and did not acknowledge questions from the Sentinel relating to it. Word has reached the Sentinel that a search warrant for Shuey’s residence was obtained in the aftermath of the shooting and executed on April 27.
Among those who knew him and of him, there was a perception that given the nature of his lifestyle, his indulgence in criminality and his tendency toward physical intimidation and violence, Shuey’s number was going to come up, probably sooner rather than later. Indeed, that is what appears might have happened Monday night. One of his acquaintances summarized the circumstance thusly: “He fucked with the wrong cowboy.”
Homicide detectives working the case face the challenge of sifting through a plethora of potential suspects, seeking among the dozens of those who had an animus toward Shuey for the one who might have held a deadly grudge.
Nevertheless, Robert Allen Shuey had friends. He was someone’s son and brother. He was someone’s father. He was appreciated, at least in one circle. By Thursday, tributes to him were lodged with a website, One read, “Thank you for your contagious happy adrenaline, your friendship, and those favorite memories plus more you gifted me with while you were here. [I’m] gonna miss you, and wish I had spent more time with you, but I’m grateful for your time [I’ll] forever cherish. I Love you little big dawg, you were as real as they make em.”
Another said, “Damn man, damn. Love you brother. Breaking into and skating late nights on the ice rinks, mountain biking with you, your pops, and brother, going to your football games or having to go to Joe’s soccer games.”
“Life is too short,” read another. “We all lost another great friend. Robert Shuey you were so loved. R.I.P.”
-Mark Gutglueck

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