2 arrested after gang shooting in Monroe

MONROE — Two Monroe men were arrested Wednesday in connection with a gang-related shooting in town in March.

Police allege one of the men, 19, fired shots at rival gang members in a car as they drove past a Monroe neighborhood on March 31. The shooting was reported about 5:45 p.m. near the intersection of 154th Street SE and Esther Avenue SE.

No one was hurt. Most of the people involved refused to cooperate with police.

“We started with nothing,” Monroe police spokeswoman Debbie Willis said Thursday. “We didn’t have the suspects. We didn’t have the victim and people were afraid to talk.”

Police believe the shooting was a result of an ongoing feud between two gangs operating in east Snohomish County. The two men arrested are believed to be members of the same Latino gang that was involved in the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Antonio Marks of Sultan in 2009. That attack was caught on surveillance video.

Monroe detectives worked the case using search warrants and anonymous tips, according to the arrest reports. The two suspects surrendered Wednesday.

“They knew that we were looking for them,” Willis said.

The 19-year-old Monroe man was being held Thursday at Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree assault. A 20-year-old Monroe man also was arrested for investigation of rendering criminal assistance. He was released Thursday.

Neither man has any known felony history.

After the shooting, the men reportedly had a friend drive them to a motel to spend the night.

Police searched the house where one of them lived. They found several firearms, spent casings and boxes of ammo.

They later found the Honda Accord that the rival gang members had been riding in when shots were fired.

Someone apparently had used Bondo, a heavy-duty putty, to patch up bullet holes, according to police. The Honda also had been deep-cleaned.

At the shooting scene, bullets also struck the side of a neighbor’s house, a fence and another car that was parked on the street at the time.

Police believe the 19-year-old man was the sole shooter.

“We have no indication that there was return fire,” Willis said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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