Charges: Man ‘essentially executed’ stranger on bus in Everett

Alejandro Meza allegedly shot a man twice, killing him, during an argument about drug use on a bus.

EVERETT — A Lake Stevens man who claimed self-defense when he shot and killed a passenger on a Community Transit bus last month has been charged in Snohomish County Superior Court with second-degree murder.

Everett police responded shortly after 10 p.m. on March 7 to reports of an assault on a bus near the 7700 block of Evergreen Way.

When they arrived, Gene Peterson was already dead. He was 33.

Alejandro Meza, 22, who allegedly shot Peterson was still on the Swift line bus. He told police they had gotten into an argument, because Peterson was using drugs on the bus. At some point, Meza said, Peterson punched him.

They fought. Meza claimed he saw Peterson reach for something.

The officer asked what Meza did in response.

“What do you mean?” Meza said. “I (expletive) shot him.”

Video corroborated part of Meza’s story, according to charging papers. In it, Meza and Peterson can be seen fighting, but Peterson doesn’t appear to be reaching for anything. In the moment before Meza draws his pistol, Peterson reportedly has one hand up by his head, and the other is grabbing onto the hood of Meza’s jacket.

The video allegedly shows Meza draw his gun, rack the slide and fire. Peterson falls to his knees, turning his back to Meza, who reportedly fires his gun once more.

One bullet went through Peterson’s stomach, according to an autopsy. The second went downward into his back, and through his right lung and liver.

Police reported finding only one weapon at the scene: Meza’s 9 mm handgun.

Meza didn’t have a concealed pistol permit, according to charging papers. At first he told police he was open carrying, per the law, but later he reported that he pulled the gun out of his pants pocket.

After his arrest, a judge initially set Meza’s bail at $75,000.

Upon charging him, deputy prosecutors asked that it be raised to $500,000.

“The State believes … that his actions in this case demonstrate a much more substantial threat to community safety,” deputy prosecutor Adam Sturdivant wrote. “Specifically, he is alleged to have essentially executed a stranger on a public bus after a trivial argument with a firearm that he was not licensed to carry.”

Meza is set to be arraigned on April 12.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; Twitter: @zachariahtb.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Hay Look Me Over, a Biewer terrier, with her handler, Molly Speckhardt, left, and owner Lynn McKee, of Lake Stevens. The 2-year-old terrier won a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show ribbon for second, or next best, among the girls in her class. (Submitted photo)
Hairy Lake Stevens pooch wins classy ribbon at Westminster

Hay Look Me Over competed in the new class of Biewer terriers. A Pekingese stole the whole show.

DanVo'nique Bletson-Reed, president of the Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee, was given the Everett Community College Diversity and Equity Center's Malcolm X Day 2021 Community Awareness Award. (Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee)
EvCC recognizes SnoCo Black Heritage Committee leader

The Everett Community College Diversity and Equity Center bestowed DanVo’nique Bletson-Reed with… Continue reading

Seattle woman dead after suspected DUI crash in Lynnwood

She was a passenger in the car that crossed into oncoming traffic on Highway 99 near Highway 525.

Jackson Emerick, 4, of Shoreline, tosses candy out to crowds lining Main Street in downtown Edmonds during the Edmonds Kind of Fourth Parade on Tuesday. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Edmonds needs entries for July 4 parade or it may not happen

“An Edmonds Kind of 4th” parade is at risk of being cancelled if there aren’t more entries by June 21.

Lake Stevens High School graduate Madelynn Coe will be attending Northeastern University and participating in a study abroad program in Greece her first semester. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Madelynn Coe spent senior year helping others learn online

The pandemic changed everything for the class of 2021. For one young woman, it was a time to give back.

Jude Jackson, a senior at Crossroads High School, on Friday, April 23, 2021 in Granite Falls, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Jude Jackson changed schools, went to the top of his class

He is the first in his family to graduate from high school, an achievement he described as “surreal.”

Arnav Sood, senior ASB president at Henry M. Jackson High School, on Thursday, April 22, 2021 in Mill Creek, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arnav Sood pushed hard to include others, even in a pandemic

The Jackson High student body president led his peers through uncertain times.

Amanda Brown, a senior at Darrington High School, will be attending WSU in the fall as the first person in her family to attend college. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Amanda Brown loves science, her hometown and her chickens

This Darrington grad is a first-generation college student who will always remember her roots.

Mariner High School graduate Careana Willis raises her diploma in the air Saturday as she walks back to her seat during graduation at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Graduate celebrates her accomplishment

Mariner High School graduate Careana Willis raises her diploma in the air… Continue reading

Most Read