Everett man sentenced after stealing and selling SPD rifle used in Renton shooting

The man stole the gun from an SPD car before selling it to someone with mental health issues.

A 26-year-old Everett resident was sentenced on Feb. 3 in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 16 months in prison for possession of a stolen firearm in connection with the theft of a high-powered rifle, taken during a downtown Seattle altercation on May 30, 2020.

Jacob D. Little quickly sold the stolen gun online via social media – an action that prosecutors say put the community at risk.

“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. Jones said the court needs to protect the community from similar actions.

According to records filed in the case, the theft of the firearm was captured by both Seattle Police surveillance photos and images posted online. Little is seen with the large bag used to store the Colt M4 rifle with a suppressor. The gun was taken from a Seattle Police vehicle parked outside the downtown Nordstrom store. The vehicles were heavily damaged and ultimately burned during civil unrest and protest.

In the course of the investigation, law enforcement obtained electronic messages sent by Little after the theft in which he appeared to be negotiating the sale of the firearm. Little stated in the messages that he had removed the sling and suppressor and the “red dot” – a type of optical sight – from the rifle. All those accessories were present on the rifle when stolen from the Seattle Police vehicle.

Speaking at sentencing on Feb. 3, Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham told the court that Little “was one of a handful of people who hijacked the peaceful protest and made it dangerous.”

Prosecutors said that Little then sold the rifle to an acquaintance who he knew had mental health issues. The gun buyer buried the gun on his grandparents’ property in Snohomish County. The buyer went and dug up the rifle after threatening his girlfriend. Police were able to seize the weapon before it was used in a crime.

After the theft and sale of the police gun, but before Little was identified in this case, Little was allegedly involved in the Aug. 30, 2020, shooting in Renton. In that case, it is alleged that Little fired multiple shots when fights broke out at a gathering of over 200 car enthusiasts in the parking lot of the Uwajimaya grocery store. Little was observed firing a gun into the air and into a crowd of people.

In January 2021, Little was charged with second-degree murder and assault. He will be transferred to state custody to face those charges in King County Superior Court.

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, with assistance from the Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force, the United States Marshals Service, and the Marysville Police Department.