EVERETT — Police pulled over the suspected killer in February.
In an interview, detectives asked him if Raul Cuadros could’ve been shot by accident.
“How the (expletive) would somebody accidentally shoot somebody,” David Wright replied, according to new charges.
Wright, 31, pleaded not guilty Thursday to first-degree murder for the shooting last month at a Jack in the Box.
Cuadros, 19, was looking to buy drugs that day, so he reached out to an Everett woman, 27, who arranged a deal with Christopher Phelps, according to the charges.
Days earlier the same woman had set up Phelps’ friend Kodi Anderson to be robbed at a motel, she reportedly told police. She was plotting a second ripoff on the day Cuadros died.
Phelps didn’t show up to the exchange early Feb. 17. Instead it was Anderson and Wright who arrived at the parking lot in the 8500 block of Evergreen Way, with their own plan to get back at the woman for the motel robbery, the charges say.
Wright brought a gun, according to Anderson’s account.
Cuadros brought a revolver tucked in his waistband.
The woman brought pepper spray.
Security footage captured freeze-frames of what followed. The woman and Cuadros arrived at 3:35 a.m. The men showed up minutes later. They all talked. Anderson came close to the woman. According to her, he demanded her purse. Cuadros jumped between the two, and Wright lifted his shirt to show a gun. She gave up her robbery plan and turned to walk away with Cuadros, the court papers say.
The men followed. The woman fired pepper spray that hit Anderson on the top of the head, but it had no effect. Wright and Cuadros, meanwhile, were facing each other.
The footage skipped forward three seconds.
Cuadros had dropped to the ground.
The men ran.
Police were dispatched at 3:44 a.m. Cuadros was pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot to the chest.
The next day officers arrested Anderson, 27. According to his report, Wright told Anderson he fired a shot because he saw Cuadros flinch, with no mention of Cuadros having a gun. The men had been dropped off and picked up from the shooting scene by Anderson’s friend Raymond Tannehill, 28, of Winthrop, the charges say. Both Anderson and Tannehill have criminal records in Okanogan County.
Police arrested Tannehill on Feb. 19. Inside his vehicle officers found what appeared to be heroin and meth, as well as a commercial-grade explosive that’s often used in rock quarries. Tannehill did not have a license for the explosive, the charges say.
Phelps was arrested, too. He reported he’d been at the Jack in the Box that morning, but not at the time of the shooting. He had little else to say. He agreed to give a sample of his DNA. According to Anderson’s story, Phelps told the men to give him their clothes so he could get rid of them. Phelps was charged Thursday with first-degree murder for his alleged role in the crime.
All four suspects are being held at the Snohomish County Jail with bail set at $1 million. Wright was the last to be arrested, on Feb. 20. He has past convictions for arson, burglaries and 27 misdemeanors. On the day of the shooting he was still on probation.
He spoke with police. He admitted he’d been talking with Anderson, but denied being the shooter, court papers say. Officers noted the gunman in the video wore gray Adidas shoes with three dark stripes. Wright wore the same shoes.
He claimed he’d been with his girlfriend that morning.
But two people reportedly told police Wright had left home around midnight. Officers searched the house. They did not find a pistol. However, they discovered a 12-gauge shotgun and a safe holding multiple kinds of ammo.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.