EVERETT — Bail was set at $5 million for a second suspect arrested in connection to the fatal shooting of a teenage boy at a bus stop last week.
Police arrested Victor Torres-Zuniga, 19, on Tuesday night for investigation of first-degree murder in the 15-year-old boy’s death.
Two days earlier, police booked another suspect in the shooting, Uriel Hernandez Martinez, 20, into the Snohomish County Jail. A judge gave Hernandez-Martinez the same bail amount.
The suspects are believed to be members of the same street gang. After his arrest Sunday, Hernandez-Martinez, reportedly nicknamed by his gang “big homie,” told investigators Torres-Zuniga, of Everett, carried out the shooting by himself.
The deceased hadn’t been publicly identified as of Wednesday.
Investigators believe the shooting was connected to a long-running feud between rival gang members. Two days before he was killed at the bus stop, the teenager had reported to police that members of the suspects’ rival gang shot at him, Everett officer John Anderson wrote in a police report.
Officers arrested three alleged members of the gang, who reportedly expressed their plans to shoot the teen.
Around 6:30 a.m. Friday, the teen stood on the sidewalk in the 7700 block of Hardeson Road, according to a police report. Security footage showed a black Kia Soul, later identified as a stolen vehicle, driving on Hardeson past the bus stop about three times in four minutes.
Surveillance footage reportedly showed the Kia slowed by the bus stop, with the passenger rear window “broken out.” Someone opened fire from the car. The teen fell to the ground.
One witness reported the driver fired the shots. Another witness reported a back window was down, and it appeared someone in the back seat “may have been the shooter,” police wrote in a report.
The boy was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett with multiple gunshot wounds. He died there. At the scene, investigators reportedly found 18 bullet casings. All of them appeared to be 9 mm rounds.
Police arrested Hernandez-Martinez on Monday in the 12600 block of Highway 99, about 3 miles south of the shooting scene. The suspect carried an unregistered concealed pistol, police wrote. The casings at the scene did not match Hernandez-Martinez’s gun, Everett officer Matthew McCourt wrote in a report Tuesday.
In a police interview, Hernandez-Martinez reportedly acknowledged being in the stolen car with Torres-Zuniga that morning, aware of the plans to shoot the boy, according to police. The suspect, however, told police he filled up the car with gas and went home, claiming Torres-Zuniga shot the boy alone.
Cell phone records show Hernandez-Martinez was near his home at the time of the shooting, McCourt wrote. Around 5:15 a.m., security footage shows the suspect arriving at his front door, police wrote. Thirty minutes later, Hernandez-Martinez reportedly texted Torres-Zuniga three times.
“I suspected that Hernandez-Martinez left his phone at home and told Torres-Zuniga that he was headed back to the vehicle to complete the murder,” McCourt wrote in his police report.
Torres-Zuniga reportedly texted Hernandez-Martinez again roughly 30 minutes after the shooting, telling him the shooting had made the news, and the two of them should “lay low.”
Similar to Hernandez-Martinez’s defense earlier this week, attorney Ama Okoro argued in court Wednesday police did not provide sufficient evidence Torres-Zuniga was in the car at the time of the shooting.
“There’s plenty of information to find probable cause for Mr. Hernandez-Martinez, but by our estimation there is not enough information to find probable cause for Torres-Zuniga,” Okoro said. “(Hernandez-Martinez) indicates he was not there for the shooting, so I don’t know how he could make a statement that he knows who the shooter is when he was supposedly not there.”
Deputy prosecutor Melissa Samp noted police recovered the stolen Kia Soul at the entrance to the Interurban Trail in the 1000 block of 105th Street, reportedly near Torres-Zuniga’s home.
“There is a significant risk, should the defendant be released, that there would be another violent offense committed,” Samp said in court. “This is an ongoing, fluid gang conflict that is happening within Everett right now.”
Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui found probable cause for first-degree murder. Bail was set at $5 million, at the prosecution’s request.
The suspects remained in Snohomish County Jail on Wednesday.