EVERETT — Another teen has been arrested in connection with Thursday’s deadly drug-related gunfire in south Everett — but he nearly got away.
Early Sunday morning featured a manhunt in downtown Everett for Bryan Rodriguez-Hernandez, 16, after he reportedly managed to escape from the custody of a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy.
Rodriguez-Hernandez had been arrested in connection with Thursday’s fatal shooting of Julie Knechtel, 54, and the wounding of her son, 17, sheriff’s spokesman A. J. Bryant said.
During the last two years, Rodriguez-Hernandez has had seven cases brought against him in the juvenile division of Snohomish County Superior Court, records show. Two involved firearms and attempts to take marijuana from others. The victims in the earlier cases included the 17-year-old who was shot last week and also another of Knechtel’s sons, who was threatened at gunpoint, court papers show. That June 2016 incident occurred at the Village Green Mobile Home Park on E. Gibson Road, the scene of last week’s shootings.
Because he is 16, Rodriguez-Hernandez stands a good chance of facing consequences in adult court if charged in connection with last week’s violence.
The alleged escape occurred after Rodriguez-Hernandez was arrested for investigation of being involved in Thursday’s shootings. At about 1:40 a.m. Sunday, a deputy was escorting Rodriguez-Hernandez from Providence Regional Medical Center Everett back to the county courthouse. That’s when the teen allegedly slipped his right hand free from handcuffs, struck the deputy in the head and then ran west toward the water, Bryant said.
Nearly three dozen deputies and other law officers, including three police dog teams, converged on the area for the hunt. In addition to having cause to detain Rodriguez-Hernandez in the killing, he was then wanted for first-degree escape and third-degree assault on the deputy, Bryant said.
Police dogs led sheriff’s deputies and members of the Violent Offender Task Force to Rodriguez-Hernandez and he was returned to custody, Bryant announced just after 8 a.m. Sunday.
Rodriguez-Hernandez is at least the third person identified in connection with the shootings. On Friday, a judge ordered a 15-year-old held on $500,000 bail in connection with the case. Meanwhile, sheriff’s detectives asked for help in locating Larry Dontese Dorrough, 16. They had used a SWAT team to search for Dorrough at a home in the 16700 block of North Road near Martha Lake late last week, but the teen had already fled.
Dorrough may have been in custody Sunday, but no details on the arrest were released. About midnight Sunday, the sheriff’s office shared a press release announcing that “all suspects involved in the shooting that occurred at Village Green Mobile Home Park” had been captured. That was not long before Rodriguez-Hernandez reportedly managed his hours-long escape.
Knechtel was killed attempting to come to the aid of her son. The teen told sheriff’s detectives that a group of young people carrying guns had come to the shed where he lived at the mobile home park, and demanded that he surrender his “stash” of drugs, according to court papers. The teen reportedly said he was targeted because he sold methamphetamine and marijuana.
It had happened before. Rodriguez-Hernandez in March pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and being a juvenile in possession of a firearm after admitting in June 2016 that he’d “jacked” one of Knechtel’s sons of his marijuana and pointed a handgun at the other, in the same neighborhood where last week’s violence erupted. Rodriguez-Hernandez was sentenced to serve from 15 to 36 weeks in the custody of the state Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, court records show.
In that case, Rodriguez-Hernandez used a .40-caliber Beretta handgun, and surrendered only after a chase that ended with him being zapped with an electric stun gun. The gun was found at the hospital, where he was taken for examination prior to being booked. He had the weapon hidden in his underwear, according to court papers.
Exactly how long he served in that case wasn’t immediately clear Sunday. Prosecutors also obtained a conviction for Rodriguez-Hernandez possessing a loaded handgun that was found by his mother in his backpack in December 2016, records show.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@herald net.com. Twitter: @snorthnews.