Suspect arrested in fatal shooting outside pool hall near Everett

Sheriff’s detectives arrested Octaviano Vera-Hernandez Jr. for investigation of the first-degree murder of Damien Navarro.

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EVERETT — Three weeks after a deadly shooting outside a billiards bar south of Everett, detectives have made an arrest.

Octaviano Vera-Hernandez Jr., 22, of Everett, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on Tuesday for investigation for first-degree murder. Police believe he shot and killed Damien Navarro, 31, in a fight around 1:30 a.m. March 6, in the parking lot at 128th Billiards.

Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui found probable cause for the charge Wednesday. She set bail at $1 million.

Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a large fight with shots fired in the 600 block of 128th Street SW. Deputies arrived at the scene to find Navarro dead, according to a report written by sheriff’s detective Tedd Betts.

Witnesses took videos of the incident.

One caller reported “help was needed fast because people were filming the fight and not helping to stop it,” Betts wrote.

About 10 minutes later, a caller reported the shooter left in a white Nissan. A sheriff’s deputy nearby reportedly saw a white Nissan pass by soon after. The deputy looked up the car’s plates, Betts wrote, and the vehicle registration returned to Vera-Hernandez. Other deputies joined and followed the Nissan. The deputies pulled over the car and detained Vera-Hernandez, Betts wrote. Inside the car, deputies reportedly could see a pistol case behind the driver’s seat and an “olive-drab green Glock-style extended pistol magazine” sticking out from under the driver’s seat.

The back of the car had a decal from an aftermarket Glock parts dealer, 80PBuilder Co., with the slogan printed along the bottom edge: “Self preservation is the first law of nature.”

Deputies spoke with Vera-Hernandez, who denied having any conflicts with anybody inside or outside the pool hall, according to Betts’ report. The driver also denied having any guns or firearm magazines in the car.

Investigations into further leads that morning went cold. Detectives could not determine probable cause, Betts wrote, so they released Vera-Hernandez from custody around 3 a.m. Law enforcement impounded the Nissan as evidence.

Deputies reportedly found six 9 mm shell casings at the scene of the shooting. Betts wrote that impressions left on the casings led him to believe they were fired by a Glock pistol.

Detectives served a search warrant on the car and reportedly found two Polymer80 9 mm pistols — “ghost guns” similar to a Glock. Neither had a serial number. There was also a Glock pistol magazine with a 31-round capacity in the car, as well as more 9 mm ammunition, Betts wrote.

Security footage from the night of the shooting showed a man in a gray hooded sweatshirt firing a gun, then leaving the scene. Multiple videos taken from different vantage points also depicted the man, Betts wrote. Vera-Hernandez was reportedly wearing an outfit matching that seen on the shooter in the videos that night.

Meanwhile, detectives asked for tips from the public to identify a suspect.

On March 16, a woman who reported she was an eyewitness to the shooting told detectives she knew Vera-Hernandez and saw him fire a gun the morning of March 6.

“The evidence shows Octaviano Vera-Hernandez chased after (Navarro) who was running into the street at 128th St. SW, before Hernandez stopped and fired 6 shots at him within about 1.8 seconds, striking (Navarro) 3 times, killing him,” Betts wrote.

He added that detectives had not established a motive.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486;; Twitter: @reporterellen.

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