Deputies arrest Sultan man in drive-by shooting case

A 22-year-old Sultan resident is being held in Snohomish County Jail on $250,000 bail for suspicion of drive-by shooting.
Sultan resident Melcena Miller, who called 911 to report that somebody had just fired shots at her Main Street residence, alerted Snohomish County Sheriff's Office deputies to the scene at approximately 12:14 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26.
Miller and a male witness at the residence told sheriff's deputy Jeff Howerton they heard numerous popping sounds, which they identified as gunfire, coming from outside the home.
Nobody was injured during the incident.
Police documents state Howerton examined the front of the Main Street residence and discovered numerous small holes that appeared to be new, based on the fresh-looking splinters of wood. The holes were located near the front door and window. He located additional holes in a travel trailer parked west of the residence, and a hole in the back hatch of a vehicle parked on Main Street in front of the residence.
According to police documents, Miller and the witness told Howerton they saw a dark green SUV speeding west down Main Street toward First Street as soon as the popping sounds stopped. Howerton was familiar with the vehicle, having responded to a 911 call at the same location an hour prior to the shooting.
When he first arrived on scene around 11 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, Howerton observed the owner of the dark green SUV in a physical altercation with the witness inside Miller's home.
Howerton stated in police documents the vehicle is well-known to law enforcement officers. He cleared the scene after the initial call based on a lack of cooperation from the suspect and witness.
Shortly after Howerton arrived for the second call, Snohomish County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Martin Zelaya located the green SUV. He followed the vehicle for a short distance, performing the stop near Fir Avenue and Ninth Street. There were five occupants.
Howerton left the Main Street residence to make contact with the suspects being detained by Zelaya. The deputy was advised that the owner of the SUV had been riding in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. Additional occupants included a driver and three persons riding in the backseat of the vehicle; two were minors.
Both the alleged driver and a passenger inside the vehicle identified the owner of the SUV as the shooter, according to police documents. They told police they drove to a residence on Trout Farm Road after the shooting, which is where they believed the gun was hidden.
The owner of the SUV and the other two passengers denied any knowledge of the shooting.
Deputies responded to the Trout Farm Road residence around 2:30 a.m., and the occupant gave them permission to search the property. They located a Marlin Model 60 .22 long rifle hidden under a mattress in a bedroom. The resident stated he had no knowledge about the firearm or how it got there.
Another sheriff's deputy located a spent .22-caliber shell casing near the corner of First and Main streets.
Deputies transported the alleged shooter to Snohomish County Jail for booking and processing on one count of drive-by shooting. The other occupants of the vehicle were released pending further investigation.


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