A Pasco teen was sentenced to one year and three months in prison for firing a gun into the air four times after confronting a group of people last June.
Saul Sandoval Romero admitted he initially pointed the gun at DeShawn Anderson, a man now wanted by Pasco police for questioning in one of last week’s gang-related shootings.
Sandoval Romero, 18, claimed that Anderson last summer was threatening his “homies,” so he asked the other teen, “You want some?” before shooting the gun from inside his car.
Sandoval Romero received the longer sentence in Franklin County Superior Court as part of the deal negotiated by Deputy Prosecutor Brian Hultgrenn and defense attorney Norma Rodriguez.
The standard range for his crime is six to 12 months in jail.
He pleaded guilty earlier in November to second-degree assault and cocaine possession. Two other counts of second-degree assault were dismissed.
Court documents said the June 26 incident was “in furtherance of gang activity.”
Police were called to the 800 block of West Marie Street at 7 p.m. for reports of shots fired.
Officers learned that a car stopped in front of a home and someone pointed a handgun at the group standing on the front lawn, documents said. The gunman made some threatening comments, including shouting the name of a gang, before firing into the air and driving away.
Sandoval Romero was later identified as the shooter. Officers also discovered that the car belonged to him.
The next afternoon, he was arrested outside his Yakima Street home.
Sandoval Romero admitted to being the shooter the night before but said he never intended to hit anyone. He said he just wanted to scare Anderson.
Sandoval Romero said after the shooting he dumped his car at a friend’s house, then walked home and had been there since, court documents said. He also told police that when he was caught, he was getting into his minivan to go see his child who’d been born the night before, documents said.
He claimed he borrowed the gun from a friend, but didn’t give the person’s name. He also said he no longer had that gun or any others.
Police got search warrants and in his bedroom dresser found a 9mm pistol and a rifle round, court documents said. Officers then searched his minivan and found another 9mm gun inside a small, metal lunch box. There was a round in the gun’s chamber and 18 rounds in the magazine.
A small bag of cocaine also was found in the car, documents said.
Hultgrenn, in court documents, said he agreed to dismiss two of the assault charges because Sandoval Romero had no prior felony convictions and was pleading guilty to two felonies.
Hultgrenn added that no one was harmed in the shooting and the victims are not cooperating with police.
The prison sentence ensures that the punishment for the shooting reflects the seriousness of the crime and protects the public, documents said.
After his release from prison, Sandoval Romero will be on 1 1/2 years of community supervision. He is ordered not to associate with known gang members, drug users or dealers, or possess gang paraphernalia or controlled substances without a prescription during that time.
Sandoval Romero is to have no contact for 10 years with the four victims — who range in age from 16 to 20.
Anderson, 18, is considered a person of interest in a Nov. 18 shooting on West Margaret Street. Three of four men were shot when they were ambushed as they were returning to the house.
The victims, who were inside a car at the time, suffered non-life threatening injuries.
The next day, a car was sprayed with bullets on West Marie Street, killing Anthony Guerrero and injuring two others.
Then, an apparent drive-by shooting happened hours later on North Cedar Avenue.
Pasco police have said the three shootings are a result of a gang conflict.
Anderson has outstanding warrants in Benton and Franklin counties. Since he has ties to other parts of Washington, authorities issued a statewide alert for his arrest.
Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information leading to Anderson’s arrest. Anyone with information on his whereabouts can call 509-586-8477 or 800-222-8477, or visit www.tricitiescrimestoppers.org.