Crime

An 18-year-old shot someone six times at a Lakewood gas station. He’s been sentenced

An 18-year-old who shot another man six times at a Lakewood gas station was sentenced Wednesday.

Humberto Martinez-Avila pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder earlier this year for the Feb. 9 shooting.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Sabrina Ahrens sentenced him to 15 years, three months and several weeks.

Charging papers said a 46-year-old man asked Martinez-Avila for a cigarette outside the gas station in the 12700 block of Bridgeport Way Southwest. Martinez-Avila also asked about the the man’s gang association and shot him when he learned he was affiliated with a rival group, the documents show.

He hit the victim in the ankle, buttocks and back.

The victim wrote in a statement to the court earlier this year: “This incident has impacted my life drastically. I didn’t think asking for a cigarette would get me shot.”

He doesn’t feel safe, he can’t sleep, and he has trouble walking, he told the court.

“Knowing I could of died because of someone else’s stupidity isn’t fair,” he wrote. “... I just want my life to be normal again which I know I will never get back both physically, emotionally and psychologically.”

Defense attorney Dustin Burk wrote in a sentencing memorandum that the 18-year-old struggled with alcoholism and had been drinking beers and smoking marijuana and had gone to the gas station with friends to get more beer.

“... both parties have different versions of what the conversation entailed, but it seems to be agreed that at a certain point their rival gang affiliations were brought up,” the memorandum said. “Mr. Martinez-Avila, who although was trying to get out of the gang lifestyle, still had a firearm on him for protection.”

The teenager is remorseful, the attorney told the court, and hopes the victim will make a full recovery.

Alexis Krell covers local, state and federal court cases that affect Pierce County. She started covering courts in 2016. Before that she wrote about crime and breaking news for almost four years as The News Tribune’s night reporter.
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