Woman escapes freeway shooting, high-speed chase

EVERETT — Courtney Smith thought it was going to be a quick trip from Bothell to Marysville.

It didn’t work out that way.

Her plan was simple. On Friday night she borrowed a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu from one grandmother so she could visit her other grandma.

Then the trip turned into a nightmare.

Her car’s rear window was shot out while she drove through Everett on I-5 around 11 p.m. She floored it to escape a van that suddenly was pursuing her.

“It was terrifying,” Smith, 22, said Monday. “I was probably going 110 to 115 mph just trying to get away from him.”

The Washington State Patrol arrested Glenn L. Carter, 41, of Stanwood, for investigation of first-degree assault, possessing a stolen firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and methamphetamine possession.

Smith said she had never seen the man before.

An Everett District Court judge set bail at $250,000 on Monday.

Smith said she was driving north on I-5 toward Marysville. As she and a passenger approached the exit to Marine View Drive in north Everett, they saw a 1977 Chevrolet van driving the wrong way up an off ramp. The van made a U-turn at the top of the ramp and headed north on I-5, troopers wrote in court papers.

Smith said she hit her brakes when the van cut in front of her. When she changed lanes, the van cut her off again, she said.

She eventually passed the van, and as she did so, she could hear the male driver yelling at her. She thought he was asking, “Who are you?”

As she pulled ahead, Smith heard what she described to troopers as a popping sound. The rear window and rear driver’s side window of the Malibu shattered, according to court records.

“It totally exploded the glass,” Smith said.

Smith and her passenger were sprayed with shards, but neither was injured.

Smith realized that she was being shot at. In fear for her life, she floored it.

“Every time I looked in my rear view mirror, he was following,” she said.

Smith told troopers she left the freeway when she reached Marysville. The van followed and then shot back onto I-5.

Only then did she feel safe, she said.

Troopers were alerted to the trouble. One spotted the van at 11:07 p.m. and followed it until other patrol cars could get in position. Six miles north, the trooper turned on his emergency lights, but the van didn’t stop.

A mile farther north, the trooper saw the van’s driver throw something out of the passenger window.

A mile later, something else was jettisoned.

The van stopped when the driver noticed that troopers had placed spike strips on the highway.

Carter got out of the van telling troopers, “I’m unarmed. I’m unarmed,” court papers said.

Troopers later recovered a stolen Smith &Wesson revolver from the side of I-5. The weapon was wrapped in a torn piece of underwear. They also found a plastic bag that contained a powder that tested positive for methamphetamine, court papers said.

The revolver contained four unfired bullets and one spent shell casing.

The suspect’s criminal history includes convictions for burglary, possession of stolen property, statutory rape and malicious mischief, according to court papers.

In a probable cause statement, troopers described the incident as “use of deadly force without provocation.”

Smith said she felt bad when she had to tell her grandma about the damage to her Malibu.

“She was pretty understanding,” she said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

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