Charges: Everett bar shooting suspect faces up to 50 years in prison

EVERETT — A man charged with first-degree assault in an Everett bar shooting could face up to 50 years in prison due to his violent history, according to prosecutors.

The shooting outside the Player’s Sports Bar and Grill at 10730 19th Avenue SE left one man with a gunshot wound to his hip in December, according to court papers.

Police later arrested Francisco Cuahutemoc Vazquez, 23, who had served a three-year sentence in a botched robbery that left one man dead in 2017.

In the early morning hours of Dec. 17, 2022, a boyfriend and girlfriend were inside the bar near Silver Lake when Vazquez approached the woman and argued with her about something that happened in high school, according to charges filed this month.

The boyfriend intervened. Vazquez reportedly confronted him in the bathroom, pressed a handgun into his stomach and said, “What are you going to battle for? What’s up?” A friend of Vasquez “deescalated the situation,” and the couple decided to leave, according to the charges.

Detectives believe Vazquez followed them to the parking lot and hastily fired at their car as the couple drove away. The bullets penetrated the passenger door and the man was hit in the hip, according to court papers. The girlfriend then drove the wounded man to Swedish Mill Creek hospital. Several other cars in the area also had bullet holes.

The woman was able to identify Vazquez because they grew up together and attended the same high school. He was arrested on Dec. 19, when he showed up for a try check-in.

Court records show Vazquez has a felony history that includes first-degree assault as a juvenile and attempted robbery in the first degree as an adult.

According to charging papers, Vazquez was 15 years old when he shot a young man in apparent retaliation for a gang dispute. He rode in the passenger seat of a car that pulled up to gas pumps outside of a market on West Casino Road in Everett, got out of the car and shot a man standing outside the market. The man was wounded in both legs and survived the injuries.

When he was 17, Vazquez was convicted of attempted first-degree robbery while armed with a gun. He and an accomplice pretended to be interested in buying cannabis from two men, then tried to rob them.

The sellers ran away, shooting at the attempted robbers, according to charging documents. Vazquez was hit twice and survived. The accommodate was killed. Vazquez was tried as an adult and sentenced to prison.

The Supreme Court later overturned his 5½-year sentence, on the grounds that courts “must consider the mitigating qualities of youth” when sentencing juvenile offenders.

Superior Court Judge Bruce Weiss sentenced him again to three years in prison followed by five years of probation in October 2020 — “persuaded the Defendant had been rehabilitated and deserved an exceptional sentence downward,” according to charging papers.

After that hearing, Vazquez was immediately released. At the time of his latest arrest, he was still on probation.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Chelsea Norman said in court in December that Vazquez has displayed “an escalating pattern of behavior.”

Under state sentencing guidelines, he would face roughly 42 to 50 years, if convicted as charged.

Vazquez was being held Friday in the Snohomish County Jail on $750,000 bail. His trial is set for March 10.

Jonathan Tall: 425-949-2340; [email protected]; Twitter: @EDHJonTall