Suspect arrested in 2017 Everett shooting over $5 in gas

The wanted man was caught in California. He was booked Tuesday into the Snohomish County Jail.

EVERETT — A shooting suspect who evaded Everett police for 3½ years was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on Tuesday.

Everett detectives were alerted in early May that Justin Bell, 31, was arrested in California, Everett officer Kerby Duncan said. He has since been extradited.

Bell is accused of shooting a passenger in his carpool group on Dec. 14, 2017, outside a Value Village on Evergreen Way.

Gunfire left the other man with wounds to his arm, ankle and buttocks, according to charging papers filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Police later learned the wounded man was annoyed that day because he was the only person who reliably paid $5 for gas money in his carpool group.

He reported he got in a fight with Bell, the carpool driver, and that there was yelling and shoving. Then the passenger decided “the issue wasn’t worth a fight,” so he walked away, wrote deputy prosecutor Wallace Langbehn.

Police believe Bell got into a Black Hyundai, and he appeared to be the only person in the car. The car traveled along Evergreen at a speed much slower than other traffic, then stopped with the driver’s side window rolled down. On security camera footage from nearby businesses, the victim and his girlfriend ducked “in an obvious reaction to gunfire,” according to the charges.

The Hyundai sped off faster than other traffic. The wounded man fell. He had suffered three gunshot wounds. A doctor told investigators “the victim had a significant potential for imminent deterioration,” the prosecutor wrote.

Several witnesses called 911 to report what they had seen.

Officers recovered shell casings for 9 mm ammunition at the shooting scene. Records showed Bell owned three guns, including a 9 mm Luger pistol, the charges say.

Court records show Bell had no felony history.

Police reportedly received a pair of phone calls from the suspect a few months later, in February and March 2018. In the first call, he told police he was worried that one of his guns had been used in a crime, the charges say. In the second call, he reportedly denied knowing about a fight and claimed it “might have been someone else.” He told officers he didn’t know the other man, and that he’d never given him a ride.

Bell also told police he’d moved to California in December.

Felony charges were filed in March 2019 while the suspect remained at large. At the time, prosecutors asked for $100,000 bail.

“The allegations in this case are that the defendant fired several rounds from a pistol across a busy street, during the day, and hit the victim three times,” Langbehn wrote. “The defendant’s utter disregard for safety demands bail be set in this matter.”

Everett police released no other details about the circumstances of the arrest in May.

Bell was booked into the Snohomish County Jail early Tuesday to face charges of first-degree assault. He now has a tentative trial date set in early July.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Granite Falls ‘10-foot alligator’ is actually a tegu named ‘Tazz’

Anybody who spots the docile lizard, last seen near Granite Falls, is asked to notify 911, so Tazz can be reunited with owner.

Photos by Olivia Vanni / The Herald
Gabby Bullock sits on her bed in a room she shares with another housemate on June 14 in Everett.
‘We don’t have openings’: SnoCo recovery houses struggle with demand

Advocates say the homes are critical for addiction recovery. But home prices make starting a sober living house difficult.

Melinda Grenier serves patrons at her coffee truck called Hay Girl Coffee during the third annual Arlington Pride event in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Food safety team defends its work: it’s a ‘high pressure, thankless’ job

Management tried to set the record straight about long permit delays in Snohomish County.

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Global tech outage leaves a mark on Snohomish County

The CrowdStrike software update hit some systems at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and briefly disrupted 911 operations.

Performers joust during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire at Sky Meadows Park in Snohomish, Washington, on Sunday, Aug. 06, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Royalty and revelry: The spirit of the Renaissance comes to Monroe

The annual Renaissance fair will open its doors every weekend from July 20 to Aug. 18

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.