EVERETT — A Lynnwood teen gave conflicting stories about whether he was in Snohomish County for a fatal shooting Saturday, according to police reports filed in court.
He’s now accused of murder.
On Saturday night, a man arrived at the Newberry Square apartments to recover a Honda Pilot that had been borrowed from his younger brother but never returned. He brought five friends.
One of the friends, Alexander Justin Song, knocked on the rear passenger window of the Honda, according to the police reports filed in Everett District Court. Someone in the car fired a single gunshot that struck Song in his upper chest.
“I’m hit!” Song cried out.
He died at the scene. He was 22.
Earlier that week, the car was loaned for a day to a 19-year-old man. According to that man’s report to police, he held onto the car for two days. Then he let a young woman borrow it on Dec. 30.
Police found the Honda abandoned at a gas station on 41st Street in Everett on New Year’s Eve. Two hours later the young woman’s lawyer called police. His client wanted to talk with detectives.
In the police interview, she reported she’d met another friend, Pedro Luis Montero, 19, a gang member, to hang out and smoke marijuana. They had parked by the apartments in the 16100 block of Ash Way, when she noticed a group of guys she didn’t know moving quickly toward the car around 9 p.m. One man banged on the window, she said. A shot rang out. She thought that they were being shot at, so she backed up and sped off, she said. As they drove, she saw Montero had a gun, she told police.
They abandoned the car in Everett, and went their separate ways, according to her report.
Police arrested Montero at his home. He asked if this was a gang sweep. He agreed to an interview, if the detective would turn off a voice recorder. He stated he’d been in Seattle from Dec. 29 to 31, and hadn’t been in Snohomish County at all, according to the police reports. Detectives asked if he might appear on security footage at the gas station in Everett. His story changed, according to police. He had been in the area, looking to buy crystal meth from a friend whose name he wouldn’t give.
At first he denied knowing the woman, but later said he knew her, and that he’d been with her in a car near 41st Street in Everett, police reported. He didn’t know the car’s make or model. He denied being in a silver Honda, or having a gun, or being near the apartments, according to police. He told police they were just going to go by cameras and evidence, rather than taking his word for it.
“It’s not my body,” he repeated throughout the interview.
Officers arrested Montero for investigation of second-degree murder. He appeared briefly in Everett District Court on Wednesday, where Judge Anthony Howard determined there was probable cause to hold him in connection with the killing. The judge set bail at $1 million.
Montero has been a suspect or otherwise linked to several shootings involving gangs in south Everett, according to court papers.
Two teenage brothers were hurt in two shootings that were weeks apart in fall 2016, on East Casino Road. Shell casings from a .380-caliber handgun were found at the scene in both cases. The brothers were gang members, in a feud with Montero’s gang, documents show. The second shooting left the older boy with critical injuries. Two days later, Montero’s mother found a .380-caliber pistol wrapped in a pair of pants in her van. She turned it in to police. Montero ran off when he saw sheriff’s deputies outside, telling his siblings that was the gun that was used to “kill” the older boy, according to charging papers.
Montero pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm in January 2017. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.