Gun removed from Don Shooter's office before expulsion vote

Posted: Updated:

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard says he removed a firearm from Rep. Shooter’s office before the House expelled Shooter on Thursday.

Mesnard says he removed the weapon out of “an abundance of caution.”

"He had a toy one, which most people thought was a real one but it wasn't. I did take that anyway," said House Speaker J.D. Mesnard. "And he had another, and he gave that over, and he didn't resist or anything like that."

By a vote of 56 to 3 votes, Shooter was expelled from the Arizona House of Representatives over sexual harassment allegations.

[RELATED: AZ House votes to expel Rep. Don Shooter]

The vote came after an outside investigator determined that Shooter engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment that created a hostile workplace.

RELATED: Powerful lawmaker accused of sexual harassment at AZ State Capitol]

[RELATED: Probe finds Arizona lawmaker broke sex harassment rules]

There was heavy security all around the Capitol Thursday due to this historic vote.

DPS troopers escorted Michelle Ugenti-Rita through the state House.

It was her accusations against Shooter that set off this chain of events.

Ugenti-Rita told AZ Family's Dennis Welch that she was worried about her safety when Shooter walked by her office and reportedly said, "it's a good day for a lynching." 

"I heard Mr. Shooter had some in, was going down the hallways, popping in places saying 'It's a good day for a hanging' or something to that effect," said Mesnard. "Obviously, Miss Ugenti-Rita has dealt with, as the report shows, harassment over the years, and she took that as a threat."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

Mesnard said there is a policy banning the public and lawmakers from bringing firearms into the House, and that Shooter was obviously in violation of that policy.

Mesnard said he never felt Shooter was a threat, and that he was just being cautious.

"There have been some folks expressing concern about safety, and making sure that today at the height of emotions that nothing even more tragic occurred," said Mesnard.

[WATCH: Don Shooter addresses House members before vote]

[WATCH: House speaker J.D. Mesnard speaks after Shooter expulsion vote]

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.