Man charged with murder in fatal shooting of Everett father

Ryan Rafter, 40, shot Christopher Buck Jr. in the head in front of Buck’s partner and their child, charging papers say.

Everett

EVERETT — A man has been charged with aggravated first-degree murder for fatally shooting a man in front of his partner and child at an Everett apartment.

According to court papers, the killing was caught on camera.

On April 26, Ryan Rafter and a friend went to the apartment complex where Christopher Buck Jr., 29, lived in the 7700 block of Timber Hill Drive. Rafter, 40, arrived at the complex with a friend around 4:20 a.m. and stayed for roughly an hour, according to charges filed this month in Snohomish County Superior Court.

A resident reported a wallet from his son’s bedroom and his white cell phone had gone missing from his home, according to the charges.

Later that day, Rafter returned with his friend and another acquaintance. The acquaintance was stopping by Buck’s apartment to drop off his children, whom she had been babysitting. Less than 10 minutes later, security footage reportedly shows Rafter walking into Buck’s bedroom and racking the slide of a semiautomatic gun.

“You know what, enough of this (expletive) small talk,” Rafter reportedly said. “This is what is going to (expletive) happen and I will put one in your (expletive) head.”

Rafter motioned at Buck.

Then he said, “I want all of the (expletive) dope and the pills right expletive now,” according to the charges.

Rafter reportedly pointed his gun at Buck, his partner and their 4-month-old daughter. He continued to threaten the family and demanded drugs, the charges say.

Buck replied, “Are you going to do this in front of two kids?”

“Absolutely,” Rafter responded.

Footage reportedly shows Rafter pushing the woman over while she was holding her infant daughter. The charges say he then lunged at Buck, ripped a backpack from his hands and shot him in the head.

Rafter fled in his friend’s white Toyota Camry.

A maintenance worker at the apartment complex was packing up his tools when he heard the gunshot and called 911.

Buck was transported to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. He died of his injuries the next day.

Police found and arrested Rafter days later in the 2900 block of Nassau Street, near downtown Everett. After obtaining a warrant, police searched the stolen backpack and found what appeared to be a large block of heroin, 10 bags of fentanyl, a small bag of methamphetamine and a scale, according to charges written by deputy prosecutor Melissa Samp.

Rafter was charged with aggravated first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, residential burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. All of the charges carry a special allegation that they were committed while on probation for another crime.

Rafter was convicted of eight felonies — burglary, attempting to elude police, theft of a firearm and others — in 2017.

The defendant remained in custody Tuesday at the Snohomish County Jail, held with no possibility of posting bail under an order from Superior Court Judge Anna Alexander.

“The entire robbery and murder is captured on video and audio surveillance,” Samp wrote in her argument to keep Rafter behind bars. “It is very clear what the defendant’s intent was when he threatened to kill the victim and when met with resistance, carried out his threat. He threatened to kill a woman holding an infant, pushed her to the ground and stepped over her to kill the victim.”

If convicted as charged, Rafter faces only one possible sentence: life in prison without parole.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.

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