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Drive by shooting suspect charged

An Austin man taken into custody in connection to two reports of shots fired early Monday morning made his first appearance on Wednesday in Mower County District Court.

Manamany Omot Abella, 20, has been charged with felony violent felon in possession of a firearm, felony drive by shooting – toward person, occupied motor vehicle, or occupied building, and felony second-degree assault – dangerous weapon.

Manamany Omot Abella, 20

According to the court complaint, police responded to a report of a firearm being discharged at about 1:01 a.m. on June 22 in the 300 block of South Main Street in Austin. An adult female advised that she heard some gunshots and then saw some people run into a nearby apartment. Another witness also reported hearing gunshots that occurred after a fight in the area and seeing a car drive from the scene toward the Roosevelt Bridge.

An officer arrived in the area and saw several people frantically waving at him from the front porch of a residence in the 300 block of South Main Street. The officer was unable to get coherent individual statements due to the chaotic scene, but the group of people indicated that there was a shooting and they believed the suspect was in a black four-door vehicle. They also said that Abella was possibly the person who shot a gun at the residence or provided the gun to another person to shoot. They said the shots came from across the street, that there were about four to five shots initially, and then more shots at a different location after the suspect vehicle drove off. The group also indicated that the vehicle was last seen headed north on South Main Street and was likely going to Room 134 at the Rodeway Inn.

Police located two S&W .40 caliber shell casings and two live rounds on the east side of South Main Street. They also recovered a black Chicago Bulls hat in the middle of the road.

A witness told police a black sedan with five occupants came from the east. He reported three shots were fired at the residence from the sedan and that he heard someone say “gimme the gun (sic)” before the shots were fired. He said the sedan then drove north and turned onto Second Avenue Southwest and that he heard about six more shots after the sedan left the area. He also said he recognized one of the juvenile males in the sedan.

An officer observed a bullet hole in the driver’s side window of a van in the driveway.

Officers then drove to the Rodeway Inn and learned that several people departed from Room 134 and left in a car with Minnesota license plate 804MYB. That vehicle was located and stopped and two females fled from the vehicle. The vehicle was occupied by four males, but no firearms were located on any of the subjects or inside the vehicle.

Detectives arrived at the scene and learned that Abella and the juvenile recognized by the witness were involved in the shooting. The detectives then went to the location of a second drive-by shooting in the 800 block of Sixth Avenue Southeast, where an officer pointed out numerous 9mm shell casings in the road.

The detectives then went to the Rodeway Inn and observed several subjects enter and exit Room 134. They were granted a search warrant for Room 134, Abella and the juvenile. Abella answered the door and was taken into custody. Nothing of evidentiary value was located in Room 134.

One of the detectives reviewed a report regarding the traffic stop of a Chrysler 300 and noted that the driver said Abella had shot at his vehicle. In addition, the passenger reported that Abella pointed a handgun at the crowd at the Main Street residence, taunted them and fired shots into the air.

Abella was read a Miranda warning and interviewed at the Mower County Jail. Abella initially claimed that he just “woke up” when the police arrived at Room 134 of the Rodeway Inn, then stated that his mom got a visit from “someone” with a gun, who accused Abella of breaking some windows. Abella said he went to “Main Street” in a dark colored SUV, which was being driven by someone he did not know. He said he confronted a “fat guy named Goo Goo or something like that” and then he got punched by “Danni Jones” and then by “Goo Goo.” He then said he then left the location, returned to the Rodeway Inn and “got drunk.”

Abella denied that he returned to the South Main Street residence and denied any knowledge of a shooting or of anyone having a gun. He did admit that the juvenile was with him when he got punched by “Danni Jones” and “Goo Goo.”

A review of Abella’s criminal record shows prior adjudications of delinquency for third-degree assault and first-degree burglary. He is currently awaiting disposition on felony drug and firearms charges.

Abella will appear in court again on July 2.