EVERETT — At least five gunshots narrowly missed three witnesses of a drive-by shooting at an apartment complex south of Everett, according to reports filed in court Monday.
The alleged getaway driver, 22, and alleged shooter, 16, were arrested for investigation of the assault in the parking lot at Hillcrest Estates off 130th Street SW. No one was hit.
Deputies believe the gunfire was gang-related, Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Courtney O’Keefe said. However, the target and motive were not clear Monday.
The teen was a suspect in previous drive-bys in Everett, according to court records.
Around noon Saturday, he hopped out of a black Cadillac Escalade and opened fire, according to deputies’ reports. Three bullets hit a tree next to three people. Deputies found two other bullet marks nearby.
One witness “felt as if his life was on the line and he truly believed (the boy) was there to kill someone.”
Another account said the teen was shooting at people who were running away. The boy got back in the passenger seat and the Cadillac sped off.
After a pursuit, deputies arrested the pair.
The driver was taken to jail for investigation of first-degree assault, drive-by shooting and attempting to elude police. The teen was held at the Denney Juvenile Justice Center in Everett.
Court papers show both have gang ties.
The driver was part of a group that confronted a stranger on Casino Road in 2015, surrounded him and demanded to know his gang affiliation. The victim replied that he wasn’t in a gang. The suspect, then 18, punched him in the face and stabbed him in the side with a four-inch blade.
He was sentenced to six months in jail for felony assault.
In March 2016, an investigation of a gang-related shooting led police to search the same man’s bedroom, which he shared with his older brother. Inside a closet police found a loaded AR-15 rifle. The man served about a 2½-year sentence in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm.
His older brother, 25, was just sent to prison for the same crime, in a separate case.
On a night in April 2017, three people called police saying someone aimed a gun at them from a blue-green Chrysler off of 8th Avenue W. Deputies stopped the car at gunpoint. This time the older brother was driving. The boy from Saturday’s shooting, then 14, sat in the front passenger seat.
Four loaded pistols were recovered from the trunk.
Months later deputies pulled over a dark Cadillac on Airport Road. Again, the older brother was driving. The man, a felon, had posted a picture of himself on Facebook with a 9mm Taurus pistol. That gun was found in the Cadillac’s trunk. And again the boy was in the passenger seat. He tried to run away, but police caught him. Tucked in his pants officers found a loaded Beretta pistol.
In the meantime, a lab tested DNA on the guns from April 2017. A sample from a .40-caliber Ruger matched the teen’s genetic profile. He was sentenced to 10 days in Denney for the Ruger, and about four months for the Beretta.
Deputies noted they’d documented 72 gang-related shootings in south Snohomish County from January 2015 to the teen’s arrest in September 2017. Detectives believed the boy was “personally responsible for several of the shootings within the city of Everett.” Rival gang members had told police the boy shot them, but wouldn’t work with detectives out of fear of being labeled a snitch, Everett police wrote in court papers.
“We believe that there is a very high likelihood that (the boy) will obtain another firearm and continue to shoot gang members, specifically with his likely belief that someone snitched causing his arrest,” an Everett officer wrote in 2017.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.
This story was changed to show that 72 shootings in south Snohomish County from January 2015 to September 2017 were gang-related, but not necessarily “drive-by” shootings.