Tacoma police have found another gun stolen from a Fife sporting goods store in December and believed used in a recent crime.
The 9mm handgun was hidden in the dashboard of an SUV believed involved in a drive-by shooting May 7, according to court documents. No one was hurt in the shooting, and two men later were arrested in connection with the gunfire.
The handgun found Wednesday was one of 41 firearms stolen Dec. 17 from the Sportco/Farwest Sports store. The investigation into the theft has stretched into at least three counties, including Pierce, where prosecutors have charged eight people.
In the most recent case, prosecutors charged two people Tuesday with drive-by shooting, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm in connection with the May 7 shooting.
The two, Anthony Lee Valencia, 17, and Jermaine Laron Abdul Gore, 18, were ordered held in the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail each.
Court documents gave this account:
Police responded to a report of a drive-by shooting about 10:15 p.m. in the 2300 block of South M Street. Witnesses reported seeing gunshots fired from a black SUV, and a gold sedan sped off with the SUV. Officers found shell casings in the roadway but no victims.
Officers stopped a black SUV in the 1400 block of South Washington Street after it tried to evade officers. The occupants ran off. Officers detained Gore in the area. He denied being involved in the shooting but had a warrant and was taken to jail.
Investigators discovered the SUV was registered to Valencia’s mother. He was interviewed May 8 and said he, Gore and another man were involved in a confrontation with rival gang members. He denied the shots had been fired from his SUV.
Officers searched the SUV and found a 9mm handgun and a .45-caliber gun in a dashboard. They also saw two marks consistent with bullet strikes on the vehicle.
Officers arrested Valencia on Monday. When confronted, he said the guns in the SUV were his. He said he’d fired one and Gore the other.
Valencia told investigators he bought the stolen handgun for $300 in mid-March.firstname.lastname@example.org