EVERETT — Gang members had made two other attempts to kill a 15-year-old boy before he was fatally shot at an Everett bus stop last month, according to new charges filed last week in Snohomish County Superior Court.
On Friday, prosecutors charged Uriel Hernandez-Martinez, 20, and Victor Torres-Zuniga, 19, with premeditated first-degree murder in the Sept. 8 shooting death of Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15.. Prosecutors allege the two young men had planned to kill the boy days before.
The two defendants and Tamayo-Franco were members of rival gangs, according to charging papers. Investigators suspect the attack was payback for a long-running feud.
Four days before the fatal shooting, police located Tamayo-Franco and another teen boy in the 1000 block of 112th Street SW, where neighbors reported gunfire, charges say. Tamayo-Franco told investigators someone shot at him. The other boy, who was believed to be a member of the defendants’ gang, reportedly texted his group that Tamayo-Franco shot at him first.
Nine .45-caliber shell casings were found at the scene, according to charging papers.
Security footage showed a white Ford Focus arrive on scene around 8:30 p.m. Four people exited the car, and one, matching Tamayo-Franco’s description, began shooting, prosecutors allege. It was unclear if anyone or anything was hit by the gunfire.
Later that night, both defendants got on a 40-minute conference call with other alleged gang members, according to the charging papers. During this call, the group “presumably” planned to kill Tamayo-Franco in retaliation, prosecutors alleged.
Police obtained phone records suggesting Hernandez-Martinez went to Kamiak High School the next day, where Tamayo-Franco had just started classes that week. Mukilteo police, however, were tipped off to the defendant’s location and stationed themselves at the school.
Later that evening, police arrested three teen boys driving in a stolen vehicle with a loaded gun, charging papers say. Hernandez-Martinez told investigators the teenagers were supposed to kill Tamayo-Franco prior to their arrest.
Around 6:30 a.m. the next morning, Tamayo-Franco stood on the sidewalk in the 7700 block of Hardeson Road, according to charging papers. Security footage showed a black Kia Soul, later identified as a stolen vehicle, driving past the bus stop several times.
Surveillance footage reportedly showed the passenger rear window “broken out,” according to the police report. The Kia slowed by the bus stop. Someone opened fire from the car. The teen fell to the ground.
Tamayo-Franco was shot 14 times, charging papers say. He was taken to Providence Regional Medical Everett, where he died later that day.
Police arrested Hernandez-Martinez days later. During an interview, the defendant admitted to investigators he was planning on killing Tamayo-Franco when he went to Kamiak, charging papers say. Hernandez-Martinez told investigators his alleged gang leader expected him to carry out the shooting himself.
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 defendant, however, told police he filled up the car with gas and went home, claiming Torres-Zuniga shot the boy alone.
The stolen Kia was recovered a day later at the entrance of the Interurban Trail at 1004 105th Place SE, reportedly next to Torres-Zuniga’s home, charging papers say.
Cell phone records suggested both defendants were in the same location from 12:30 a.m. to an hour before Tamayo-Franco’s shooting. The two had been exchanging text and audio messages that night.
Phone records suggested Hernandez-Martinez’s location was near his home at the time of the shooting, according to court documents. No location was recorded for Torres-Zuniga at this time, leading investigators to believe he turned off his phone.
Following Tamayo-Franco’s death, Torrez-Zuniga told his co-defendant to stop contacting him.
“Everything is good now, dude,” he reportedly said in an audio message. “You will see on the news today.”
Both defendants remained in the Snohomish County Jail on Monday with bail set at $5 million.