EVERETT — A teenage gang member, shackled and off to prison for the next 14 years, locked eyes Wednesday with the 15-year-old boy he nearly killed in a drive-by shooting over the summer.
The two belong to rival gangs whose beefs have erupted in gunfire in south Everett in recent months. One boy was killed in December in what detectives say was a retaliation-fueled shooting between territorial gangs.
Wednesday’s exchange in the courtroom made clear that the two sides haven’t made peace.
The 15-year-old filed out of the courtroom but not before sharing heated words with a group of people there to support the shooter, Juan Beteran Monrroy.
Marshals kept the group back while the boy and his companion left the courthouse.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne sentenced Beteran Monrroy to 14 years in prison for first-degree assault with a firearm and drive-by shooting.
Beteran Monrroy, 19, declined to address the judge.
Earlier this week another defendant was in front of him for an assault charge involving a firearm, Wynne said. The community cannot tolerate this gun violence, the judge said.
The Aug. 16 shooting likely was a catalyst for a rash of other gang-related violence, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn said Wednesday.
“It keeps coming up as the motivating factor for retaliation, among which, in my opinion, may have led to one death,” Langbehn said.
The 15-year-old and some other boys told detectives that they had gone looking for Beteran Monrroy, then 18, with the intention of beating him up. They were stopped at a light when Beteran Monrroy pulled up next to them.
He pointed a military-style rifle at the pickup carrying the victim and three other teens. They threw a knife and bat at the defendant’s car and sped off. Beteran Monrroy gave chase and fired at least six rounds at the pickup. The 15-year-old was struck near the armpit. The high-velocity round perforated his heart.
Beteran Monrroy, known on the street as “Scooby,” was arrested a short time later. Police found a loaded military-style rifle in the backseat of his car. They also found a .38-caliber revolver under the front passenger seat.
Public defender Jennifer Bartlett told the judge that her client has no prior criminal history. While the shooting is gang-related, Bartlett said that her client has been influenced by relatives. His brother is serving time for a similar crime, she said.
Wynne ordered Beteran Monrroy to stay away from the victim for the rest of his life.
The 15-year-old remains on probation in juvenile court. He purchased a stolen gun for $250 in the months after he was shot. He hid the gun from his parents but pulled it out Nov. 29 in front of his 11-year-old brother.
The teen accidentally shot the boy in the face while he was playing with the gun. The younger boy survived. The teen served 26 days in juvenile detention and was sentenced to a year of probation.
Investigators believe some of the same gang members were involved in a shooting in December that ended the life of 17-year-old Anthony Camacho. He was gunned down at a party near 124th Street SW and 4th Place W.
Guillermo Padilla, 16, recently pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the deadly gunfire. He handed the alleged shooter, Diego Tavares, the weapon that reportedly was used to kill Camacho. Tavares, 19, and Edgar Calixto, 16, remain charged with first-degree murder. Their trials are scheduled for June.
Padilla was in the pickup truck that was struck by Beteran Monrroy’s gunfire. He also obtained a gun after the drive-by shooting.