Nearly four years after two teenage boys were shot in Kent, one fatally, King County prosecutors have charged a former Auburn man with second-degree murder and first-degree assault following his capture last year in Mexico.
Ricardo Martinez, now 29, was arrested in May 2020 in Aguascalientes, about 300 northwest of Mexico City, on charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Adrienne McCoy wrote in charging documents. The charges say he threatened to kill police there, telling them that he was a gang member in the U.S. and had killed two people, presumably unaware that a 16-year-old boy he is accused of shooting through the neck had survived.
Killed in the April 18, 2017, shooting outside a Kent gas station was 17-year-old Roberto Matamoros Izaguirre. His death was the third in a week that reportedly involved South King County gangs: The charges against Martinez make reference to the killings of Roberto Marcial Alvarez, who was fatally shot in Federal Way, and Erasmo Plata, who was gunned down in Burien. Alvarez was killed April 11 and Plata, on April 12 that year.
Mexican authorities later deported Martinez, who also goes by Martinez-Perez, to the U.S., where he was wanted for violating his federal probation on drug and firearms charges, court records show. Currently in federal prison in Victorville, California, Martinez is scheduled to be released next week, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons’ online inmate locator.
A $5 million arrest warrant on the murder and assault charges was signed by a King County Superior Court judge on Monday, say court records, which don’t yet indicate which attorney is representing Martinez. Martinez, who is also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, is to be arraigned April 26 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.
Kent police responded to a report of a shooting around 12:15 a.m. on April 18, 2017, and found the two victims in the alley behind a gas station in the 1500 block of West Meeker Street, charging papers say. Four fired rifle casings were found at the scene.
Kent police built their case against Martinez using video-surveillance footage, witness statements, cellphone records, gang graffiti, and evidence recovered from a pickup truck, a mobile home and Martinez’s family’s residence in Auburn, say the charges.
Kent police detectives were unable to confirm whether the victims were gang-affiliated, but Assistant Police Chief Jarod Kasner said they were in an area of known gang activity and were targeted by a confirmed gang member.
During the investigation, detectives learned Martinez first fled to a relative’s house in Oklahoma City, arriving there three days after the shooting; he was later driven to a strip mall in Irving, Texas, then crossed into Mexico, where he has extended family, according to charging papers.
Staff reporter Mike Carter contributed to this story.