Gilbert Escamilla at his bail hearing on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Gilbert Escamilla at his bail hearing on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

$5M bail for suspect in deadly Lynnwood, Marysville shootings

Detectives believe Gilbert “Alex” Escamilla “executed” a man in Marysville, then broke into a random family’s home and shot three people.

LYNNWOOD — A 911 call captured the terror of a Lynnwood home invasion that left one person fatally shot and two others critically wounded early Thursday.

Police believe Gilbert “Alex” Escamilla, 31, had just fled the scene of another deadly shooting 25 miles north in Marysville, where he “executed” a man around 4 a.m. outside an apartment complex, according to police reports filed in court Friday.

The first shooting was witnessed by residents at Twin Lakes Landing. It was also caught on camera.

At 6:50 a.m., a woman inside a house at 164th Street SW and 48th Place W called 911, reporting in broken English that a man with a gun was fighting with her husband, according to a police report. The woman sounded “panicked and out of breath,” investigators wrote.

She told the dispatcher she’d been sleeping when the man broke in, and that the intruder was a stranger.

The couple lived in the house with their mother-in-law, who was visiting on a tourist visa, wrote Snohomish County sheriff’s detective Tedd Betts. Their two young children hid in a bedroom closet.

Multiple gunshots rang out over the phone. The woman, who broke down crying, said both her husband and mother-in-law were shot, according to the police report.

“He’s screaming,” she reportedly said. “He’s trying to open my door! My husband has the blood. He was shot.”

The woman’s voice “faded into the background” as it turned into screaming, Betts wrote. The dispatcher could hear another man yelling.

“I’ll take care of you, I’ll take care of you!” he reportedly said. “Stop screaming!”

Three more gunshots rang out, according to the police report. The call went quiet. The dispatcher tried to get the woman to respond. She didn’t.

First responders arrived to find the mother-in-law in the living room with a fatal gunshot to the head, investigators wrote. She was 68.

In adjacent bedrooms, the husband and wife were critically wounded. He had been shot at least twice in the chest, and she was shot near her eye, according to Betts’ report. The two children, ages 5 and 7, were uninjured.

The husband, 43, and wife, 32, were rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Both remained in critical condition Friday, hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg said.

Investigators later found four 9 mm bullet casings on the back deck, down the deck’s stairs and in some vegetation at the bottom, Betts wrote. A shell casing that appeared to be from a .22-caliber gun was also found in the hallway.

A neighbor called 911 at 6:54 a.m.

“Heard two rounds of gunfire within the last three minutes,” he said.

Then he reported “at least eight gunshots,” coming from houses beyond a greenbelt. Just as he was about to hang up, there was another gunshot.

“Oh my God!” he said. “Now there’s a woman screaming!”

He could hear the sirens approaching.

Meanwhile, Escamilla stole the couple’s dark gray Toyota RAV4 and drove off, according to police. Sheriff’s deputies racing to the home saw the fleeing vehicle. The driver sped through the neighborhood at 80 mph and showed “no regard for deputies who were clearly standing behind several patrol vehicles,” the report says.

With help from a police dog and air support from the Washington State Patrol, deputies chased the Toyota until it turned into a private driveway off Norma Beach Road in Edmonds. There, the fleeing driver jumped out of the car. An infrared camera on the aircraft revealed he was hiding in bushes.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested the suspected shooter without further incident.

In custody, Escamilla made “spontaneous statements,” saying he was detoxing and needed methadone, according to the police reports. The suspect told investigators he last used drugs “two days before this happened,” and he “needed to be clear headed,” Betts wrote.

Media fill the courtroom of Gilbert Escamilla’s bail hearing on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Media fill the courtroom of Gilbert Escamilla’s bail hearing on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Investigators came to realize Escamilla was the suspect in the shooting three hours earlier in the parking lot of Twin Lakes Landing, in the 2800 block of 164th Street NE.

Security footage from 4 a.m. showed a man walk past Escamilla’s car, a white Hyundai with a yellow hood. Escamilla, in a light gray hoodie and dark pants, got out and confronted the man. The video showed a flash from the muzzle of the gun, causing the man to fall to the ground, begging for help, according to a detective’s report.

After about 15 seconds, the gunman walked up to him.

“Alex (Escamilla) pointed the pistol at (the man’s) head, paused for a second or two, and then fired the pistol,” Marysville detective Cori Shackleton wrote in a report.

On camera, the wounded man stopped moving. First responders pronounced him dead at the scene.

Britney Holt, a resident at Twin Lakes, said she and her friends witnessed the fatal gunshot from a nearby balcony.

“At that moment in time,” Holt recalled in an interview Thursday, “I was worried he was going to turn around and shoot us because we saw what he did.”

The identities of the slain people had not been released as of Friday afternoon.

The shooter fled in the Hyundai, apparently bound for Lynnwood.

A witness in Marysville told police Escamilla “uses fentanyl and is always angry,” and that day, he’d been looking for someone to help him steal motorcycles, court documents say. At least two witnesses recalled how, at some point before the shootings, Escamilla had shown them two guns: a .22- or .25-caliber pistol, as well as a handgun that looked like a 9 mm.

Two different calibers of shell casings were found near the body in Marysville, police wrote.

Escamilla appeared in Everett District Court in front of Judge Tam Bui on Friday. The courtroom was packed with reporters and TV cameras.

Deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn sought probable cause to hold Escamilla in the two separate cases: one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and one count of first-degree burglary.

Bui set bail at $5 million at the prosecution’s request. Escamilla remained in the Snohomish County Jail on Friday.

Escamilla had been convicted of felonies in 2011 and 2013: two home burglaries and a second-degree robbery. Court records suggest those crimes did not happen in Snohomish County.

In a standardized box asking for any objection to the suspect’s release, the Marysville detective wrote in the report: “He shot four people in one day.”

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434;; Twitter: @mayatizon.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Pride flag vandalism raises concerns on Whidbey Island

Reports of theft involving LGBTQ+ pride-themed displays have increased around South Whidbey.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

An emergency overdose kit with naloxone located next to an emergency defibrillator at Mountain View student housing at Everett Community College on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
As deadly overdoses decline, Snohomish County builds on what’s working

Opioid-related deaths have decreased 20% compared to this time last year. Local health officials say there’s “still much work to do.”

Police blocked off southbound I-5 near Marine View Drive in Everett after an “incident” blocked the roadway on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
None injured in shooting that closed I-5 south in Everett

The shooting shut down traffic on the freeway Wednesday near Marine View Drive, causing a major backup.

Edmonds City Council members answer questions during an Edmonds City Council Town Hall on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds begins process to join South County Fire

To avoid a lapse in services, the city will likely come to voters in April asking for their final approval.

A man led police on a high speed chase through north Snohomish County on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)
New public database answers Snohomish County’s pressing crime questions

Prosecutor Jason Cummings hopes the database can give a better understanding of the local criminal justice system.

PUD employee Kyle Tucker opens part of the breaker system at the Jennings Park Substation in Marysville, Washington on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
With eye on growing county, PUD replaces aging Marysville substation

The $8.4 million project north of Jennings Park is expected to be finished in October. It’s one part of a 10-year PUD plan.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.