Dispute between ex-housemates leads to shooting in Sultan

Two men had a disagreement over a truck. A confrontation ensued. Then one allegedly shot the other.

SULTAN — A dispute between former housemates led to a shooting in Sultan on Tuesday, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies responded a little after 1 p.m. to a parking lot and found a man had suffered a gunshot wound and was bleeding heavily. He was transported to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett with what was believed to be a non-life-threatening injury.

The wounded man, who was listed in a deputy’s report as homeless, reported that he had lived at a house in Sultan until he had a falling out with his housemates. He claimed the suspect stole his truck. So, he reported, he had a woman drive him to his former residence on Third Street. Then he got into the truck.

That’s when the suspect and another man armed with a gun confronted him, the victim reported.

The suspect reportedly grabbed the gun from the other man, said something to the effect of “I will do it” and fired. The bullet went through the victim’s arm and into his chest. The woman drove him from the scene and called 911. She reported she was in her vehicle when she heard a gunshot and that she saw a man she didn’t know run away.

The day after the shooting, the Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force arrested the suspect as he was walking near the scene of the shooting.

In a recorded statement that lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes, the suspect allegedly said he was the one who fired the gun. He reported he was “very high” on methamphetamine at the time. He told deputies that he and the other man have had many disagreements in the past which led to threats of violence.

The suspect reportedly said he expected a fistfight on Tuesday. Then, he claimed, the other man chased him with a bat.

The man who was shot said he had a baseball bat, but he only picked it up in self-defense when he saw the gun. He claimed he never threatened or struck anyone with it.

After the shooting, the suspect reportedly fled. “He was afraid, panicked and under the influence of methamphetamine,” according to his account in a deputy’s report. He claimed he took apart the semi-automatic pistol and threw the pieces into a nearby river. Deputies found the baseball bat in the street, as well as evidence of blood, but couldn’t find the firearm.

A video recovered by deputies caught parts of the encounter. It showed the victim emerging from the truck with a baseball bat, and two men confronting him. Shortly after, someone is seen running. The video did not capture the shooting itself, nor did it depict anyone with a firearm.

The suspect was booked into the Snohomish County Jail Wednesday evening for investigation of first-degree assault.

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

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