EVERETT — A north Everett woman who police believe is a recruiter for a violent street gang allegedly told investigators she was just following orders when she lured a rival gang member outside to be shot.
Sarah Black, 30, was charged earlier this week with first- degree assault in a June 11 drive-by shooting in south Everett. A boy, 16, was struck twice by gunfire. He likely will suffer long-term nerve damage to his arm, prosecutors said.
Black is accused of helping plan the ambush and driving the car. She allegedly sent the teen a message on his MySpace account, posing under the fictitious name “Lady Killer,” to lure him outside, court documents show.
On Friday, Black told a judge she was not guilty.
She appeared in Snohomish County Superior Court from jail via video camera. The tattoos on her face were barely visible on the television screen.
Black has an “M” and an “S” tattooed on the sides of her mouth. A “13” is inked below her lips. Police believe the tattoo is a tribute to MS-13, a notorious international gang known for extreme violence.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge David Kurtz ordered Black held on $100,000 bail. She also was ordered not to have any contact with known MS-13 members or to leave the state.
Black has ties to California and El Salvador, both places known to be home to numerous MS-13 members, prosecutors said. The gang was started by refugees from El Salvador who fled to the U.S. to escape the country’s civil war.
Investigators recovered letters from Black’s north Everett home showing ongoing communication with an MS-13 leader incarcerated in the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, court documents show.
The gunfire in Everett likely was retaliation for a shooting at the Northgate Mall in Seattle in February, prosecutors wrote. An alleged MS-13 member was struck by rival gunfire in the parking lot. An Everett teen is accused of pulling the trigger.
The victim in the drive-by shooting in south Everett was with the shooter during the Seattle incident, according to court documents.
Black has spoken with investigators at least three times since her arrest. She allegedly told them she is a recruiter for the gang, saying, “I run MS in Washington,” prosecutors wrote.
Black has spent time in prison for a 2003 drive-by shooting in Eastern Washington. The shooting was believed to be the work of MS-13 members who had a dispute with another group of people, court records show.
Black allegedly told investigators three gang members came up from California last month. The men, nicknamed “Panterra,” “Dopey” and “Droopy,” directed her to get her “homies” together for a meeting at her north Everett house. In the hours before the drive-by shooting, a dozen people gathered to talk about problems with other gangs in the area and the shooting outside the Northgate Mall, court documents show.
An MS-13 member named “Snoopy” had given the direction to target the Everett teenager, prosecutors wrote.
“I just do what I’m told,” Black reportedly told detectives.
Black allegedly said “Droopy” was in the front seat when they drove up to the teenager. Black told detectives “Droopy” shot the teenager, according to police.
The gunman hasn’t been arrested. Two Seattle area teens also were arrested in connection with the shooting. Ronald A. Gomez, 16, and Armando Lopez, 17, also are charged with first-degree assault. They are believed to have been in the back seat of the car.
On Tuesday, an Auburn teenager was sentenced to 19 years in prison for a 2006 gang-related shooting in the same neighborhood. The victim, Dennis Riojas, 19, was shot in the back as he tried to scale a fence near his home.
Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or email@example.com.