News

Woman charged with attempted murder for shooting Kent man | Update

A 24-year-old Tacoma woman has been charged with first-degree attempted murder after she allegedly shot a Kent man in the face on Tuesday just outside of a Panther Lake Starbucks.

King County prosecutors filed the charge on Friday against Fermina Bartolini Bertos. She remained in custody Friday in the county jail in Seattle with bail set at $1 million. She is scheduled to be arraigned on July 29 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, according to Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Bertos did not speak to detectives about the shooting of Dennis E. Madrigal, 23, at about 12:21 p.m. on July 15 at the Starbucks in the 10700 block of Southeast 208th Street. She reportedly told her mother and brother that Madrigal had raped her so she shot him, according to charging papers.

Madrigal, during an interview with detectives at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, said Bertos did nothing to indicate she didn't want to participate in a sexual encounter. He said he met the woman about three months ago at a party and they started seeing each other recently.

The couple went to a fireworks show on July 4. They went to Seattle on July 14 where they drank alcohol at multiple locations before returning to Madrigal's Kent residence where they had sex.

The Kent man said he drove Bertos home to Tacoma at about 5 a.m. on July 15. Bertos later contacted him by text message and wanted to meet. He agreed and she drove to his home, according to court documents.

Bertos picked him up, they got gas and went to Starbucks. Madrigal said he opened the door to Starbucks, heard a loud noise, felt his head and fell to the ground.

The woman reportedly shot him once in the face with a .45-caliber handgun she pulled from her purse. She then fled the scene and a few hours later turned herself in to Tacoma Police. Kent detectives reviewed video surveillance footage from a nearby business that captured the shooting. The video showed Madrigal and Bertos walking to the Starbucks when the woman pulled out a gun from her purse and shot the man.

Madrigal had trouble speaking when police tried to talk to him right after the shooting, but he wrote down Bertos' name as the woman who shot him.

Prosecutor Mari K. Isaacson told the court that Bertos remains a threat to commit a violent offense and asked that bail remain at $1 million.

"The defendant shot the victim in the head at point blank range in a public place in broad daylight," Isaacson said in court documents. "Surveillance video shows the victim and the defendant walking down the sidewalk prior to the shooting. The video does not show an argument or physical confrontation of any kind before the defendant fired."

Bertos has worked as a guest services employee at a Tacoma hotel for about two years. The hotel manager told police that Bertos showed up at work on July 15 and left around 11:16 a.m. She later called the manager and told him she could not work at the hotel any longer and that she needed to go to the police.

Detectives searched Bertos' vehicle and found a .45-caliber handgun on the front passenger seat. Records show Bertos bought the gun in May 2013 and had a concealed pistol license issued in 2012.


View Larger Map

EMAIL NEWSLETTERS

Latest news, top stories, and community events,
delivered to your inbox.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.