Jurors returned a verdict Friday in the trial of a man accused of fatally shooting someone in Tacoma while looking for rival gang members to attack.
They convicted 23-year-old Adrian Alvarez of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and drive-by shooting, and acquitted him of first-degree unlawful gun possession.
Prosecutors said Alvarez pulled the trigger that killed 28-year-old Robert Doss II last year.
Charging papers alleged that Alvarez, 21-year-old Jayden Gene Montgomery Fisher and 25-year-old Joshua Jazz Soria drove around looking for rival gang members to shoot July 18, 2018, in retaliation for a prior shooting that injured a fellow gang member.
They happened upon Doss, who charging papers said they believed responsible.
Doss was shot in the chest when he was asked where he was from and answered, “Hilltop,” according to charging papers. He died at the hospital, and a 20-year-old woman in the car with him was shot in the hand.
Soria and Montgomery Fisher pleaded guilty earlier this year.
Alvarez suggested at trial that Montgomery Fisher was the shooter and that the state hadn’t proven that Alvarez was in the car at the time of the shooting.
Defense attorney Travis Currie told jurors during closing arguments Thursday that Alvarez was a junior member of the group and that Montgomery Fisher made a statement to a corrections officer that Montgomery Fisher killed Doss.
Deputy prosecutor Jesse Williams countered that Montgomery Fisher, Soria and Alvarez all killed Doss.
Evidence suggests Alvarez pulled the trigger, he argued.
A .380 handgun was used in the shooting, and a .380 clip was found under Alvarez’s bed, he told the jury.
“It’s all just nonsense, all of it,” Williams said in closing arguments about the shooting and what led to it. “... Mr. Doss didn’t deserve what happened to him.”
He told the jury it wasn’t clear whether Doss was responsible for the prior shooting, but that if accused he was entitled to a courtroom, not street justice.
Asked about the allegation that the shooting might have been retaliation, Doss’ uncle told the media last year: “That’s not our family.”
Michael Doss said his nephew worked security at a fast-food restaurant in downtown Tacoma.
He remembered his nephew playing basketball at the family’s Fourth of July picnic a couple weeks before his death.
“When he won, he got the biggest smile,” he said.
Michael Doss told The News Tribune by phone Friday that his nephew was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
He said of the verdict: “I believe that justice was done. That’s all we wanted was the law to do what they do. It’s another life lost.”
He said the family appreciates the work of the Tacoma Police Department, prosecutors and the jury.
Alvarez, Soria and Montgomery Fisher are scheduled to be sentenced in the coming months.