Charges: Downtown Everett murder suspect was caught on camera

Prosecutors allege Max Dwyer, 21, shot Jerome Burnett, 48. Months earlier, deputies arrested Dwyer at the end of an RV pursuit.

Everett

EVERETT — An Everett man has been charged with second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Jerome Burnett in 2021.

Max Thomas Dwyer, 21, was already in jail earlier this month on separate felony charges when authorities accused him of firing the gun that killed Burnett, 48, blocks away from an Everett Silvertips game.

According to court papers, security footage from nearby businesses shows Dwyer traveling to and from the scene of the shooting on Nov. 27.

This week, an eight-page charging document written by Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Michelle Rutherford was made public.

Everett police were reportedly on an unrelated call that night when they heard what sounded like gunshots ring out and a man screaming near the 2700 block of Rockefeller Avenue.

Burnett turned the corner from California Street onto Rockefeller, the charges say. Holding a stick, he walked up to the police and yelled he’d been shot.

The officers told him to drop the stick. He did. Then he collapsed. Burnett was transported to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, where he died of his wounds.

Burnett was born in Manhattan, Kansas and has family in the Midwest, according to an obituary.

He was a “total stranger” to Dwyer, the prosecutor wrote.

A witness told police he’d been confronted by a man wearing a gray ski mask in the 1700 block of California Street just before the shooting. The man told him to get off the street, the witness reported, and when he refused, the man brandished a handgun.

At the scene, police found three 9 mm cartridge casings, a small flashlight and a plastic knife, the charges say.

DNA samples from the flashlight was sent to a state patrol forensics lab for testing. In January, Dwyer was reportedly determined to be a “possible contributor” to the profiles found on the flashlight.

The physical description and photo on Dwyer’s driver’s license — white male, 5-foot-3, 90 lbs, blue eyes — matched the description given by the witness, the charges say, minus a discrepancy in eye color.

The DNA on the flashlight led an Everett detective to run a background check on Dwyer, revealing he had been arrested for investigation. The detective discovered Dwyer had been arrested for investigation of second-degree domestic violence assault at the end of 2021.

On Dec. 22, officers had responded to a report of a “stolen vehicle involving a gun,” the charges say. Dwyer had gotten into an argument with his father at a home on Ocean Avenue. Dwyer was having a mental health crisis, the charges say, and reportedly drove off in his father’s RV without permission. The father reported Dwyer pointed a black Glock at him when he tried to stop him. His son’s finger was on the trigger, the father reportedly told police.

Later that day, a sheriff’s deputy was on patrol when he saw the RV headed east on Roosevelt Road, northwest of Monroe. The deputy called for backup and tried to pull over the RV. The driver fled from the flashing police lights, then headed south across U.S. 2 onto Fryelands Boulevard.

“The RV was driving slowly and weaving between the two lanes,” police wrote.

It made a wide U-turn by a Shell gas station, then began driving north. The RV went around a right-hand corner on Roosevelt Road, lost control and crashed into a ditch.

Dwyer tried to drive out of the ditch, police wrote, but the tires spun out. Minutes later, he got out of the RV and reportedly ignored police commands to put his hands up. Deputies shot pepper balls at Dwyer. He tried to flee but was arrested in a grassy field nearby, police wrote.

After the arrest, police wrote Dwyer had a black 9 mm Glock pistol and a large plastic bag of 9 mm Luger FC ammunition on him — the same type of shell casings found at the downtown Everett homicide scene.

After he was detained, Dwyer reportedly told an officer that he “screwed up and just wants his family back together,” the charges say.

Dwyer remained in custody this week at the Snohomish County Jail with bail set at $1 million. He had no prior felony convictions.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.

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