Teen charged with attempted robbery while armed

EVERETT — A teenager who was shot in north Everett last month has been charged with attempted first-degree robbery while armed with a gun.

Francisco Vazquez was 17 at the time but has been charged as an adult in Snohomish County Superior Court. Vazquez, a former student at Cascade High School, pleaded not guilty and remains held on $100,000 bail. Trial is scheduled for next month.

Police say Vazquez is a confirmed gang member with a history of violent assaults.

Prosecutors allege that he and John Muhlstein, 18, attempted to rob two men of marijuana on March 13 near Clark Park in Everett.

Both teens were shot during the incident. Muhlstein was killed. Vazquez was struck twice and hospitalized.

All four young men were armed, according to court records.

No one has been charged in connection with the homicide or Vazquez’s injuries. The alleged shooter, a 22-year-old Kenmore man, was arrested for investigation of drug trafficking. He has since bailed out of jail. The investigation is ongoing, according to police.

The Kenmore man reportedly told officers he was looking to unload a couple of pounds of marijuana. He and a buddy, also 22, arranged a meeting with two buyers in north Everett. They agreed to sell a pound of marijuana for $3,000, Everett police detective Andrew Williams wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

They were directed to park in an alley near a church west of the 2300 block of Lombard Avenue. They alleged that a man, likely Muhlstein, jumped in the backseat and struck the seller with a pistol, according to charging papers. Vazquez allegedly stood outside the car, pointed a gun at the driver and attempted to pull him out.

The seller told police he ran from the car. He claimed Muhlstein was chasing him when he opened fire, Williams wrote. He said he saw another person running toward him and fired again when he realized it was Vazquez.

He said both were armed with guns when he fired on them.

The seller circled back to the vehicle, where he was contacted by Everett police who were responding to reports of gunshots in the area.

“This attempted robbery concluded with Muhlstein being killed and Vazquez being shot twice in a residential area. However, the robbery was the cause for the above mentioned violence and homicide,” Williams wrote.

Vazquez, the detectives added, has been a suspect in several crimes involving guns and has a history of gang-related assaults.

The teen’s south Everett house was hit by gunfire March 11 during an apparent drive-by shooting. His neighbor’s fence was damaged in a drive-by shooting about a week earlier. No injuries were reported. Those investigations are ongoing.

Vazquez, who turned 18 late last month, is a convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms. He was convicted as a juvenile in 2015 of a gang-related shooting outside an Everett business. The victim was shot in both legs. Vazquez was sentenced in August 2015 to up to 2½ years in juvenile detention.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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