Known gang leader suspected of killing 15-year-old rival gang member at Everett bus stop

Everett Police say a gang rivalry is at the center of a shooting that killed at 15-year-old boy. He was shot while standing at a bus stop on Sept. 8.

On Monday, bail was set at $5 million for Uriel Hernandez-Martinez, the person suspected of pulling the trigger. According to court documents, detectives with the police department’s gang unit said 20-year-old Hernandez-Martinez was referred to as a "big homie," a term used for gang leader or shot caller.

The 15-year-old boy, whose identity has not officially been released, was a member of a rival gang. Mukilteo School District confirmed he was a student at Kamiak High School. Investigators said it appeared the teen was on his way to school when he was shot at a bus stop on Hardeson Road in Everett.

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Probable cause court documents said Hernandez-Martinez was shot in March 2023 during a drive-by shooting, believed to be shot by the rival gang the 15-year-old was a member of.  The documents said gang unit detectives believed the teenager’s death was retaliation.

"He does not deny that this hit was placed on this victim," said Snohomish County District Commissioner Jennifer Millett while reviewing probable cause documents.

Hernandez-Martinez was arrested inside a store on Highway 99 in Everett on September 10, two days after the deadly shooting. Court documents said investigators learned Hernandez-Martinez, "admitted to others that he and another gang member shot the victim."

However, when investigators interviewed the gang leader, Hernandez-Martinez claimed he was in the stolen black suspect car the day of the shooting, but was not with his gang members when the shooting happened.

"Even if the court doesn’t find—and this is not a trial yet—Mr. Hernandez-Martinez was the person that pulled the trigger, he at very least is an accomplice. He provided the gas that put the car at the bus stop. Not to mention that he was found with a loaded firearm at the time of his arrest," said Adam Sturdivant, Snohomish County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.

Court documents said the 15-year-old was receiving death threats on social media. In the documents, detectives said the teen was shot at by rival gang members near an apartment complex in Everett on Sept. 6, two days before his death.

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On Sept. 7, officers arrested three teens in a stolen black car who were members of Hernandez-Martinez’s gang. Court documents read, "Hernandez-Martinez explained that the stolen vehicle occupied by the three VLS gang members arrested on 09/07/2023 were supposed to shoot [the victim] that night but because they were arrested, were unable to accomplish the mission. Hernandez-Martinez said that since the other three gang members were not able to shoot [the victim] he was expected to do so."

During the probable cause court hearing, Hernandez-Martinez’s defense attorney argued there was not enough information from police, witnesses or evidence to suspect her client as the shooter.

"This is far too vague a statement to find probable cause based on, the investigative techniques are not detailed and the others that are referred to in this statement are not discussed further," said defense attorney Samantha Sommerman. "What we see is vague references to statements made by others and investigative techniques and that’s not sufficient for probable cause."

Hernandez-Martinez faces charges of first-degree murder, altering identifying marks on a gun, and carrying a gun without a permit.