Everett man arrested in probe of fatal shooting

EVERETT — One career felon apparently shot another to death in south Everett on Tuesday evening in a case that police believe was drug related.

Heath E. Mitchell, 37, was being held for investigation of offenses related to the shooting, but as of Wednesday afternoon he hadn’t been charged with the killing itself, Everett police spokesman Aaron Snell said.

Still, detectives believe Mitchell was the gunman, Snell said. Court papers show he has a long criminal record involving guns, drugs and stolen property.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner identified the slain man as Robert James Scott, Jr., 39, of Everett. His adult criminal career began in 1994.

He was last released from prison in August and was wanted on a warrant issued Sept. 27 for failing to report to his community corrections officer.

Scott’s most recent conviction came in 2010 after he shot a man in the groin with a .44-caliber revolver. At the time, he was trying to collect on an unpaid debt for drugs and some high-end tire rims. The shooting led to a brief manhunt.

Tuesday’s shooting was reported about 8:30 p.m. in the 8400 block of Evergreen Way.

Scott, who police initially believed lived in Seattle, died outside a Denny’s restaurant.

Witnesses told police the trouble may have begun at a nearby motel. A firearm believed used in the shooting was later found by a police dog.

A car was reported speeding from the shooting scene. A short time later, police tracked it to a south Everett apartment complex. Police detained and questioned several people. Most have since been released.

Detectives believe Mitchell rented a room at the Sunrise Inn, located behind Denny’s. They suspect he was selling drugs there, Snell said.

After the gunfire, Mitchell reportedly fled. Police believe he pitched a revolver into a garbage bin.

Detectives worked the case throughout the night, serving search warrants at different locations.

Mitchell’s most recent felony prosecution came in 2008 after he was caught in Edmonds in a car packed full of sound equipment that had been stolen from a Seattle church. Hidden under the car’s hood was a canvas bag that contained a loaded 9mm handgun, suspected tar heroin and stolen identification. Police also found an electric stun gun. The man’s other convictions include possessing a shotgun with an illegally shortened barrel, possession of stolen property, filing a false insurance claim and dozens of misdemeanors.

Scott North: 425-339-3431, north@heraldnet.com.

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