Conflicting stories surface in fatal Everett shooting

EVERETT — Detectives are sifting through lies, half truths and hard evidence as they try to determine what triggered a fatal shooting Oct. 8 in south Everett.

They’ve been told three markedly different stories about what led up to Heath E. Mitchell, 37, allegedly gunning down Robert James Scott Jr., 39, court papers show.

No charges have been filed.

“Detectives are continuing to investigate the case,” Everett police spokesman Aaron Snell said Wednesday. “At this point, we are working with the physical evidence and with statements from witnesses at the scene to determine exactly what happened.”

Mitchell remains jailed on $200,000 bail. He’s being held for investigation of drug possession and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to an Everett District Court search warrant, Mitchell allegedly has admitted shooting Scott. He said it happened after an old friend dropped by his motel room with Scott in tow.

Mitchell told police he was talking about selling a laptop computer when Scott suddenly pulled a chrome revolver and struck him in the face, the search warrant said.

The gun fired as the men fought for control of the weapon, he reportedly told detectives.

A witness to the shooting said the men actually were talking about a drug deal. At one point, Mitchell pulled out a black semiautomatic handgun and began passing it around. For some reason a fight broke out and the weapon was fired. Scott was shot and left the room, detectives were told.

Another witness told police that Scott met with Mitchell, hoping to get some drugs on credit. Mitchell refused, and allegedly pulled out a black handgun. Detectives were told that Scott disarmed him, put the weapon in his waistband, and pulled a silver handgun of his own and hit Mitchell in the face with it, the search warrant said.

In that version of what happened, Scott reportedly was walking toward the door when a gun was fired, the search warrant said.

Scott died on the sidewalk outside a nearby restaurant. Mitchell and the witnesses reportedly tried to quickly clean the motel room and fled the scene.

Police found a black semiautomatic handgun lying near a garbage bin behind the restaurant. They also found a Smith and Wesson revolver in a backpack they say Mitchell had been carrying.

When arrested, Mitchell had a cut to his face and told police he acted in self defense, the search warrant said. But the claim from a witness that Scott was shot while walking from the room suggests otherwise, a judge was told.

Police received permission to photograph Mitchell using an alternate light source, a powerful lamp with different filters that can make it easier to document bruises, bite marks and other signs of a struggle.

Police reportedly found Mitchell carrying meth when he was arrested. They also say they found heroin, pills and packaging materials in the motel room.

The man has multiple convictions for drugs, property crimes and weapons violations. Scott had similar problems. He was released from prison in August after serving time for shooting a man during a 2010 attempt to collect a drug debt.

Reporter Eric Stevick contributed to this story. Scott North: 425-339-3431, north@heraldnet.com

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