Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, center, talks to reporters, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, center, talks to reporters, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Charges: Everett man shot, mutilated animals in ‘grotesque’ display

Prosecutors charged Blayne Perez with killing birds and squirrels, then turning his home into a “killing field” of impaled corpses.

EVERETT — For two weeks, the Everett man had been shooting birds and squirrels out of trees, then putting their mutilated carcasses outside his home, according to a neighbor who called police and provided photos in January 2022.

Everett police served a search warrant weeks later at Blayne Perez’s home in the 2400 block of Columbia Avenue, uncovering even more animal carcasses placed in “various gruesome displays” — dead birds whose wings splayed open across the back of his shed, a crow impaled by a golf club on the roof, songbirds impaled on barbecue skewers. One officer from the state Fish and Wildlife Department described it as “the most disturbing and grotesque scene that he encountered in his entire career.”

Officers removed two air rifles and more than a dozen carcasses from Perez’s property.

Prosecutors with the state Attorney General’s Office announced Wednesday that Perez had been charged with seven counts of animal cruelty, as well as one count of first-degree malicious mischief for an alleged drive-by shooting of a neighbor’s cat that led to $9,000 in veterinary bills.

“Neighbors described their anguish at having to remove all their bird feeders to avoid Perez turning their yards into a killing field,” according to the charges filed in Snohomish County Superior Court by Assistant Attorney General Scott Halloran.

Some of his nearest neighbors included an assisted living facility and a grocery store.

In a 45-minute phone interview with a wildlife officer in early 2022, Perez reportedly said he began shooting the wildlife around Christmas Eve, despite contradicting accounts from his neighbors saying they began seeing him in early January, the charges say.

Perez considered the animals to be as “pests that were (messing) up my (stuff),” though he reportedly used more vulgar language, according to court papers. He also claimed he was using the corpses as a deterrent for any remaining birds, like a scarecrow. However, officers believe he was also using dead animals as bait.

“Perez’s backyard killing and gruesome displays were plainly visible to the surrounding community, as confirmed by multiple witness statements,” according to the charges.

Investigators believe Perez continued to shoot and mutilate wildlife in the months that followed the search warrant.

In April, a dead squirrel impaled in its head to a tree was found at the entrance of Interurban Trail in Everett. Police say it matched the same style as the carcasses in Perez’s backyard.

In August, Perez was reportedly spotted shooting squirrels and dismembering them with a knife in Lowell Riverfront Park. He later told police he thought the 10-minute drive to the park was far enough away to evade the attention of his neighbors, according to the charges.

In September, Perez was arrested for investigation of shooting a couple’s cat, named Hades, in the 6400 block of Lombard Avenue. Police recognized the vehicle description, a white Subaru, as belonging to the suspect in other animal shootings, according to the affidavit. The cat suffered irreversible injuries to the retina that caused its eye to be removed, as well as a fractured jaw and metal fragments that needed to be extracted surgically. The medical bills totaled $9,000.

Perez initially denied shooting the cat, saying he was in Lynnwood at the time, “despite videos placing him at the scene of the shooting in Everett,” according to the charges.

While being put into handcuffs, he reportedly admitted to lying, saying he wanted to “tell the truth.” He then admitted to driving that morning to shoot birds and other wildlife, and that he assumed he was out early enough that no one would catch him. He denied knowingly shooting the cat. The police interview was caught on body cameras.

Perez has a felony history, with three convictions for burglaries and two assaults, making it illegal for him to own a gun. If convicted of animal cruelty, he would be banned from owning or living with animals.

An arraignment hearing is set for March 27.

The attorney general’s Environmental Protection Division is handling the case. No defense attorney is listed for Perez in court documents.

In court papers, prosecutors did not object to Perez remaining out of custody, with the condition he stay away from any animals while the case is pending.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

Talk to us

More in Local News

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Mill Creek house fire leaves 1 dead

The fire was contained to a garage in the 15300 block of 25th Drive SE. A person was found dead inside.

Firefighters respond to a house fire Wednesday morning in the 3400 block of Broadway. (Everett Fire Department)
3 hospitalized in critical condition after Everett house fire

Firefighters rescued two people, one of whom uses a wheelchair, from the burning home in the 3400 block of Broadway.

The Walmart Store on 11400 Highway 99 on March 21, 2023 in in Everett, Washington. The retail giant will close the store on April 21, 2023. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
Walmart announces Everett store on Highway 99 will close on April 21

The Arkansas-based retail giant said the 20-year-old Walmart location was “underperforming financially.”

Michael Tolley (Northshore School District)
Michael Tolley named new Northshore School District leader

Tolley, interim superintendent since last summer, is expected to inherit the position permanently in July.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
New forecast show state revenues won’t be quite as robust as expected

Democratic budget writers say they will be cautious but able to fund their priorities. Senate put out a capital budget Monday.

Everett Memorial Stadium and Funko Field on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Drive to build new AquaSox ballpark gets $7.4M boost from state

The proposed Senate capital budget contains critical seed money for the city-led project likely to get matched by the House.

Brenda Mann Harrison
Encounters with a tow truck driver and a dentist

The value of local journalism shows up in unexpected conversations.

Steve Klein moves some of his glasswork into place as fellow guest curator Meg Holgate watches during installation of A Precarious Edge at Schack Art Center on Sunday, March 19, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Exhibits shine light on natural beauty on the edge of loss

Artists worried about climate change work ‘for future generations’

A vehicle makes an unprotected left turn on a flashing yellow arrow at the intersection of Highway 9 and Highway 530 on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Reader: Arlington highway intersection signal change confusing

At the city’s request, the state changed the left-turn sequence. An Arlington reader said drivers are jumping the queue.

Most Read