Police block a road while responding to a fatal shooting at the Colonial Gardens apartments in Lake Stevens on May 24. (Dakota Bair, file)

Police block a road while responding to a fatal shooting at the Colonial Gardens apartments in Lake Stevens on May 24. (Dakota Bair, file)

Prison guard charged with murder of Lake Stevens roommate

Emmanuel Perez shot his roommate seven times, according to prosecutors. He has pleaded not guilty.

LAKE STEVENS — A longtime Monroe prison guard has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of his roommate in Lake Stevens.

Emmanuel Perez, 44, had worked as a corrections officer for 14 years, according to his lawyer. After the shooting, he was placed on unpaid administrative leave.

On June 14, he pleaded not guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett.

A woman cleaning her car reported she witnessed the shooting at the Colonial Gardens apartments in Lake Stevens, according to the new court papers.

It was May 24, shortly before 9 a.m.

First, she heard gunshots come from one of the apartment units.

Then she saw her neighbor, Perez, come out to the parking lot and to a Chevy Impala.

Perez’s roommate, Terrance Moore, came after, wearing only a bathrobe and socks.

“How could you do this to me?” Moore said, according to the woman.

The woman reported that she saw Perez raise a gun. She ducked down. Three gunshots went off.

When she peeked out again, Moore was on the ground, unresponsive. Perez was walking away.

Police and paramedics tried to help Moore, but he didn’t respond to lifesaving efforts.

He died at the scene. He was 35.

Later, an autopsy showed Moore had been shot seven times, including in the neck, chest and leg.

Perez didn’t make it far, deputy prosecutor Taryn Jones wrote.

Witnesses reported seeing Perez walk to the parking lot of the nearby Buzz Inn, about a block away, where police soon arrested him. He had with him a silver and black Kahr .40-caliber pistol, according to court papers. He also had a knife.

In Perez’s pockets, police reportedly found a white powdery substance suspected to be cocaine, and a crystalline substance suspected to be meth. According to charging papers, he also had two bags of marijuana, a scale, a vape pen and a glass pipe with white residue in it.

According to charging papers, Perez said he thought Moore was trying to kill him.

An officer checked him for injuries.

“Any holes in me?” Perez asked, according to court papers.

He appeared uninjured.

Officers found bullet casings both in the apartment and the parking lot. In the apartment, there also was a Winchester Model 370 shotgun. It was apparently fired at least once, damaging a wall.

No weapons were found near Moore’s body in the parking lot.

Later, a man called police, saying he was the owner of the handgun that Perez allegedly used.

The man said he had talked to the suspect the day before. Perez reportedly said he was having a “beef” with his roommate, Moore, and that Moore threatened to kill him.

When he heard about the shooting, the man told police he realized his gun had gone missing from his nightstand.

Perez was in the Snohomish County Jail on Friday, with bail set at $500,000.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

This story has been corrected to reflect that the witness reported seeing the shooting shortly before 9 a.m.

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