Alleged shooter at large, 3 arrested in teen’s death

Police say Raul Cuadros, 19, of Bothell, died Sunday in a drug ripoff at an Everett Jack in the Box.

EVERETT — Both sides in a drug deal showed up to a Jack in the Box restaurant with a gun and a plan to rob the other, according to Everett police reports filed in court.

It ended in a shooting that killed Raul Cuadros, 19, of Bothell.

The suspected shooter was at large Tuesday. Police believe they know his identity, Everett Deputy Police Chief John DeRousse said.

Christopher Phelps is accused of arranging a deal to sell drugs to Cuadros and a woman, 27. The pair agreed to arrive early Sunday at a Jack in the Box in the 8500 block of Evergreen Way.

Detectives believe they planned to rip off the dealer. But the two men who showed up at 3:40 a.m. planned to rip them off, too. Police don’t think Phelps took part in the meeting.

Two other men showed up on foot and immediately demanded the buyers’ belongings. The woman recognized one of them as Kodi Anderson, 27. He told her to give up her purse, according to the woman’s report. Cuadros stepped in to protect her, and a man identified in court papers as “Suspect No. 2” pulled up his own shirt. He’d brought a gun tucked in his waistband.

The Everett woman told police she and Cuadros abandoned the robbery plan. Security footage showed they tried to walk away, wrote detective Maiya Atkins. The men followed, and kept telling the woman to give up the purse. The woman fired pepper spray that hit Anderson on the top of his head, to no effect.

At that moment Anderson heard a gunshot, he later told the police. As they fled, suspect No. 2 reportedly told Anderson the teen flinched, so he shot him. They met up with Phelps, 28, who took their clothes to dispose of the evidence, the police reports say.

An ambulance crew pronounced the teen dead.

Police contacted Phelps on Sunday night for an unrelated case. Detectives asked him about the homicide. Phelps reportedly did not explain where he’d been that morning, but he denied being near the Jack in the Box, except for later in the day.

He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder. Bail was set at $1 million Tuesday.

Most of Phelps’ criminal history relates to vehicles: a series of vehicle thefts that began at age 15; repeatedly driving with a suspended license; and having tools for stealing cars. Court papers show he blew through a stop sign in a stolen Nissan Sentra at about 70 mph in north Everett in September 2016, causing a serious injury crash that he ran from.

He was handed a five-year prison sentence for hit and run and taking a vehicle without permission. That time was cut roughly in half on appeal. He was released from prison in September 2018. A lawsuit seeking damages in that crash was filed last month.

Anderson was tracked down late Monday. He told detectives he didn’t plan to sell drugs at the meeting. Anderson reported the woman had robbed him before, and he wanted his money back. Court papers say the men hid the gun used in the shooting.

Anderson was arrested for investigation of first-degree murder. His bail was set at $1 million.

He’d been charged with 38 criminal counts — theft, vehicle prowling, malicious mischief and 15 felonies — in Okanogan County in a single case in July 2018. In a plea deal, he admitted to seven felony counts. He was sentenced to six months in jail.

After the shooting, police arrested the Everett woman, too. She’s accused of tampering with physical evidence, a misdemeanor.

She wouldn’t let detectives look in her purse, according to police. A detective told her the purse would be seized. She then gave consent for it to be searched. She told him there was a revolver inside, and it had been taken off of Cuadros. She knew her friend had been armed, she told police. She’d taken the gun because she was scared and “out of instinct to protect the victim.”

Investigators don’t believe the teen pulled out the weapon before he was shot.

Tips can be directed to Everett police at 425-257-8450.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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