The Centralia Police Department has referred assault and drive-by shooting charges against an Olympia man who allegedly fired at least three shots — including one that struck a porch window — in the 200 block of North Washington Avenue last week.
As of Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement had not located the suspect, who is identified in incident reports filed with the Centralia Police Department as Daniel Recinos.
Recinos was released from Green Hill School approximately two weeks prior to the shooting, according to police reports that were recently obtained by The Chronicle.
He was one of 10 Green Hill School inmates accused of being involved in a gang-related brawl in the youth corrections facility in August 2020.
Recinos was 18 years old at the time of his November 2020 preliminary hearing for that case, according to previous Chronicle reporting. The Chronicle does not have a record of his birthdate or a report of his current age.
According to information relayed to the Centralia Police Department from Green Hill School, Recinos is “a documented gang member under the Sureños set.”
Recinos had reportedly failed to check in with his probation officer following his release from Green Hill. The state Department of Corrections is reportedly in the process of obtaining a warrant for Recinos’ arrest.
Recinos is accused of stealing a vehicle from a woman at gunpoint in Olympia prior to driving to Centralia. He had been driving with the woman — who has since been identified as Recinos’ former supervisor in Green Hill — as a passenger in her white Subaru Impreza for some time before stealing the vehicle, according to police reports. The woman had reportedly picked up Recinos in north Seattle at approximately 9:40 p.m. the day of the shooting and was driving him back to her house in Olympia when Recinos reportedly “became paranoid in the vehicle and believed that another vehicle was following him,” according to an incident report from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
Recinos reportedly gave the woman directions “to where he wanted to go” but as they drove further, Recinos reportedly “became more and more paranoid.”
At one point, Recinos reportedly had the woman pull over and switch seats with him, so Recinos was driving. Soon after, at approximately 11 p.m., Recinos allegedly pulled the vehicle over, pointed a handgun at her and told her to exit the vehicle, according to the woman’s report to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
After leaving the woman on the side of the road in Olympia, Recinos allegedly drove the Impreza to Centralia.
The vehicle was reportedly seen driving north on North Washington Avenue when another vehicle pulled up about two blocks behind, at the intersection of West Main Street and North Washington Avenue. The driver of that second vehicle described seeing the white car “slow down and appear as if it was getting ready to park” before she heard “what sounded like three muffled gunshots,” according to an incident report filed with the Centralia Police Department. The Impreza then reportedly “accelerated at a high rate of speed” northbound on North Washington Avenue towards Edison Elementary.
An officer with the Centralia Police Department was stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of North Washington Avenue and West First Street when, at 11:52 p.m., he reportedly saw the Impreza approach from behind, swerve around the officer’s vehicle and turn left on West First Street. Observing the vehicle drive recklessly at 65 mph in a 25 mph zone, the officer activated his vehicle’s lights and began to pursue. The officer got the vehicle’s license plate as he was pursuing and decided to slow down at Harrison Avenue “as the vehicle was not stopping and continued to drive recklessly westbound on Harrison Avenue,” according to the officer’s report. The vehicle continued driving at 70 to 90 mph on westbound Harrison Avenue, ultimately turning north onto the southbound Interstate 5 offramp and driving the wrong way on I-5 before the officer lost sight of it.
The officer contacted other units, as well as Washington State Patrol and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, about the vehicle and advised there was probable cause to stop it, but “the vehicle was not seen any further,” according to the officer.
At 11:54 p.m. — two minutes after the officer started the pursuit — dispatch advised officers that a caller in the 600 block of West Maple Street had reported hearing gunshots and hearing a vehicle speed off toward Edison Elementary.
“Based on the timing of the call and the very light traffic on the road for the time of night, I believed the vehicle that eluded might be the suspect vehicle in the shooting complaint,” wrote the officer in his incident report.
While officers with the Centralia Police Department investigated the crime scene in the 200 block of North Washington Avenue, officers with the Olympia Police Department and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office attempted to contact the registered owner of the vehicle, who was found walking between her home and the area where she claimed Recinos held her at gunpoint. She reported the incident to law enforcement at that time and stated she hadn’t called it in earlier because her phone and purse was still inside the vehicle.
She claimed she was unaware of the incident in Centralia and “was adamant that she was not in the vehicle when the drive-by shooting occurred in Centralia and she didn’t even know that it had occurred until we told her about it,” according to an incident report filed with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
The woman’s phone was ultimately “pinged,” and law enforcement soon located the phone and the vehicle near McKenna in Pierce County. The vehicle was unoccupied and abandoned when deputies with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department located it, according to the report. The keys had been removed from the vehicle.
A search of the vehicle later uncovered a box of Federal 9 mm ammunition containing 10 9 mm rounds and one 9 mm shell casing. The firearm itself was not located.
Based on scuff marks and indents observed in the Impreza, local law enforcement determined the gun was fired backwards from the driver’s seat through the left rear window, presumably at the other vehicle that was driving behind the Impreza, according to police documents.
Officers did not observe any noticeable damage on the other vehicle that would have been caused by a bullet.
The driver of that vehicle was on her way to work when the shooting occurred, according to the police reports.
In her interview with law enforcement following the incident, the driver said she didn’t know of anyone who would want to hurt her and was surprised to learn she had been shot at. When asked how she felt upon hearing that the shots were likely aimed at her vehicle, she reportedly said, “Um, a little worried. Especially since I thought it was a shooting, like a drive-by shooting or something like that, along those lines,” according to police reports.
While the shooting occurred right outside the home of a Republican state lawmaker and Centralia-based attorney Peter Abbarno, local law enforcement do not currently believe he was the target of the drive-by shooting.
When asked by law enforcement “if there were any people that were upset at him that would possibly attempt to harm him,” Abbarno reportedly said, “Many people are unhappy with some decisions he makes as a politician, but there is no specific person, and no one has ever threatened to hurt him physically,” according to police reports.
DNA evidence from the vehicle — including vape pens, a lighter, a cigarette and dry swabs of the steering wheel, have been sent to Washington State Patrol’s lab for testing.