A 37-year-old man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 11 years in prison for shooting at a car occupied by strangers and for firebombing a second vehicle at a Seattle homeless camp.
Shane Anello, 37, had earlier pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful possession of a destructive device in connection with the two incidents in 2012, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Court documents say that just after midnight on April 3 three people were stopped at a red light at the Columbian Way exit from southbound Interstate 5 when Anello pulled up next to them. Anello made eye contact with the occupants of the car and then began following them when the light turned green. He turned off his headlights, tried to ram the victims’ car and fired at least one gunshot at the strangers’ car, according to the documents.
Seattle police responded to the victims’ 911 call and spotted Anello’s car with its lights out. He was arrested and a officers seized a .38-caliber revolver and ammunition.
Police also linked Anello to the April 1 firebombing of a vehicle in the parking lot of the “Nickelsville” homeless camp in South Seattle. The documents say Anello threw a Molotov cocktail at a car belonging to a person who had barred him from returning to the homeless camp. The gas-filled bottle ignited and the car caught fire, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
No one was injured in either incident.
Anello is prohibited from possessing firearms because of numerous prior felony convictions in King County Superior Court, including assault, attempting to elude police and delivery of cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“The random and dangerous actions of this defendant could have resulted in tragedy,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a news release. “He targeted strangers and the homeless. We need him off our streets for a significant period, with careful monitoring by Federal Probation on his release.”