Man who stole Seattle Police rifle sentenced to prison, now facing murder charge for Renton shooting

UPDATE: A 26-year-old Everett man was sentenced Feb. 3 in U. S. District Court to 16 months in prison for possession of a stolen firearm that was taken during downtown Seattle riots in 2020.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Jacob D. Little sold the stolen gun online through social media.

"You didn’t care (who you sold it to) as long as you got paid. You sold it to someone with mental health issues," Judge Richard A. Jones said at the sentencing.

The theft of the Colt M4 rifle with a suppressor was captured by Seattle Police surveillance phots and images.

Little was seen with the large bag used to store the rifle. That gun was taken from an SPD vehicle parked outside the downtown Nordstrom store.

Police vehicles were damaged and burned in the area that day.

Little was one of a handful of people who hijacked the peaceful protest and made it dangerous," Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham told the court during the sentencing.

Little then sold the gun to someone he knew had mental health issues, authorities said. The gun buyer then went and dug up the rifle on property in Snohomish County.

Police seized the gun before it was used in a crime.

Before Little was identified in this case, authorities say he is accused of murder in an Aug. 2020 shooting in Renton.

Investigators said Little is accused of firing multiple shots when a fight broke out at the gathering of more than 200 car enthusiasts in the parking lot of a grocery store.

Witnesses said Little fired a gun into the air and into a crowd of people. In Jan. 2021, he was charged with second-degree murder and assault.

Detectives said Little will be transferred to state custody to face these charges in King County Superior Court.

Previous story:

A Seattle Police Department rifle stolen during the riots on May 30, 2020, was found buried in the backyard of a home on Wednesday.

Police say it was uncovered in the 3100 block of 83rd Avenue NE in Marysville.

Marysville PD Officer Danielle Rusch responded to a call,  developed information on the rifle’s location and contacted SPD. 

Seattle Police Robbery Unit Detective Mike Magan, ATF agents and Marysville N.I.T.E Team officers responded and obtained consent from the homeowner to search the property.

RELATED: Everett man accused of taking police gun in Seattle riot faces murder charge

Photo of recovered SPD rifle courtesy Marysville Police Department

The Colt M4 rifle with a suppressor was found disassembled in a plastic bag that had been buried about a foot deep in the yard.

It was stolen as Seattle protests escalated in the wake of George Floyd's murder, resulting in the destruction of six patrol cars and the theft of five firearms.

"As partners in law enforcement, we sat nearly helpless watching the news coverage of police vehicles being lit on fire and criminals stealing firearms from them.  We are proud of the diligent work of Officer Rusch and her willingness to partner with SPD in ensuring that this investigation was seen through to the end," said Marysville Police Public Information Officer TJ San Miguel. 

Jacob D. Little, 25, is facing federal charges for possession of a stolen firearm. 

Seattle Police confirmed that all SPD rifles stolen during last year’s riots have now been recovered.

Detectives say they previously interviewed a man who stays at the home who denied he had the stolen rifle.

No arrest was made at the home in Marysville but the investigation is ongoing and will be reviewed by local prosecutors and the U.S. Attorney's Office to determine whether any criminal charges will be filed. 

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