An Ontario man pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to shooting a Pasadena Planned Parenthood clinic 11 times over the course of a year with a BB gun.
Richard Chamberlin illegally possessed nine guns at the time of the last shooting, and carried a loaded pistol in his car when arrested May 7, 2021. In a police interview, Chamberlin claimed Planned Parenthood sold baby parts, and admitted that he tried to secretly record videos proving so while working with conservative activist groups.
Police found he also had a Phoenix Arms semi-automatic pistol; a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol a Bryco Arms semi-automatic pistol, a Jennings Firearms semi-automatic pistol, a Lorcin Engineering semi-automatic pistol, a Hi-Point semi-automatic pistol, a Soviet Union bolt action rifle, a Amadeo Rossi & Co. shotgun, and a Marlin Firearms semi-automatic rifle.From court documents
When he was released from jail, five days after his arrest, two members of the clinic’s staff called out sick for the next three days, out of concern that he would return with a loaded gun, and a third member quit, according to court documents.
“(An employee) separately stated that many staff members still did not feel comfortable coming into work despite the therapist being brought in. (The employee) relayed that the staff was worried that Chamberlin would use a real gun next time,” the complaint says.
Chamberlin shot the clinic in 11 drive-bys, in his blue-gray Chevrolet Malibu June 27, 2020, July 27, 2020, Aug. 12, 2020, March 29, 2021, March 30, 2021, April 9, 2021, April 10, 2021, April 11, 2021, April 15, 2021, April 25, 2021, May 2, 2021 and May 7, 2021, according to the plea deal.
He shattered the clinic’s windows in the first three shootings, and almost hit a woman who was sitting on a bench on the clinic’s front porch during the March 30, 2021, shooting.
During two of the shootings, footage shows a female passenger in the car, and the investigating officer suggested Chamberlin had a co-conspirator.
After initially denying the shootings, Pasadena police told him he was seen on video shooting a BB gun at the clinic.
“(A)t least the baby murderers have somebody on their side,” he said, according to court documents.
The clinic’s security officer, Stephen Mendoza, followed Chamberlin’s car after the April 15, 2021, shooting, and was able to confirm the license plate and take an identifying video. Mendoza called the police after the May 7, 2021, attack and three members of the Pasadena Police Department found Mendoza within minutes, according to court documents.
When interviewed, Chamberlin denied having real firearms in his car, and whispered “oh f—” when informed the police found his loaded HP22 Phoenix Arms .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun in his car. He then said the gun was for protection.
Chamberlin was prevented from legally owning firearms because he was convicted of transporting a narcotic drug for sale in Arizona in 2012.
He claimed he had BB guns because he teaches firearm safety, and is part of a YouTube show called “Wild West BB Test.”
He also claimed he investigated Planned Parenthood in 2013, because he believed the clinic sells aborted fetal body parts. In an Oct. 15, 2015, YouTube video, Chamberlin said he was inspired by the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and said “Stop aborting babies and selling their body parts.”
Police found he also had a Phoenix Arms semi-automatic pistol; a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol a Bryco Arms semi-automatic pistol, a Jennings Firearms semi-automatic pistol, a Lorcin Engineering semi-automatic pistol, a Hi-Point semi-automatic pistol, a Soviet Union bolt action rifle, a Amadeo Rossi & Co. shotgun, and a Marlin Firearms semi-automatic rifle, according to court documents. He also owned thousands of rounds of ammunition.
After his arrest, he sold four of the firearms at a convenience store and sold the other eight firearms to his neighbor.
His official crimes are forcible interference with the obtaining and provision of reproductive health services and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. He faces a maximum sentence of 11 years’ imprisonment with a three-year period of supervised release, a fine of $350,000 and restitution.
Assistant United States Attorney Frances Lewis prosecuted.
Antonio Villaamil and Waseem Salahi of the Federal Public Defender’s Office represented Chamberlin.
California Central District Judge Michael Fitzgerald presides.
Case No. 2:22-cr-00036.
Read the complaint here.
Read the indictment here.
Read the plea deal here.