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Seven charged in connection with drive-by shooting in Lakewood

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:24 am |
January 10, 2013 11:40 am

There were drugs, guns, bullet-riddled cars and a group of friends angry that the wrong guy showed up to sell them marijuana at a Lakewood market.

Pierce County prosecutors say it started early Sunday morning when a drug deal went bad, resulting in two separate gunfights. It ended hours later after police found two marijuana grows, five guns and cash hidden throughout the alleged shooters’ apartments and cars.

Seven people have pleaded not guilty to an array of drug and gun charges in connection with the incident. Two of them – Aaron Averette, 20, and Carly Benton, 19 – were released on their own recognizance. Both are charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance.

Mason Johnson, 19; Alexander Averette, 20; and Lars Miller, 31, face the same drug charge but also a single count of drive-by shooting. Their bails ranged from $50,000 to $100,000.

Rene Rivera, 19, believed to be the getaway driver, has also been charged with the drive-by shooting. Salvador Posada, 29, a felon, has been charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Charging documents tell this story:

Members of the group went to buy marijuana but Johnson was upset because the seller was not who he expected so he ordered his friend to drive away. The seller fired at their departing vehicle so Alex Averette and Johnson returned fire.

“After initially escaping, another firefight broke out when (the cars) came across each other again,” documents state.

Now furious, Johnson rounded up his neighbor, Miller, Alexander Averette and Rivera to retaliate with a drive-by shooting.

Witnesses told police roughly eight bullets were fired at the victim’s house in the 8400 block of 99th Street Court Southwest.

No one was injured but bullets struck his garage door and vehicle. A stray bullet hit a nearby house where two people were inside.

About 10 minutes after the shooting, a patrol officer noticed a car speeding and followed it to the Village Green Apartments, 14436 Washington Ave. SW. Officers found Johnson’s car, where a handgun and spent shotgun shells were found on the ground. In his apartment, where he lived with Benton, police found nine marijuana plants, $1,000 in cash, shotgun shells, a stolen semi-automatic handgun and drug paraphernalia. Hidden in the wheel wells of Johnson’s car were a 9 mm pistol and a shotgun.

After searching a nearby apartment leased to the Averette brothers, police found 22 marijuana plants, a .22 revolver and a 20 gauge shotgun.

Prosecutors have not filed charges against the victim, who told police he fired his gun into the ground because he was afraid the men were going to rob him.

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