The text messages between Mount Vernon mayor and alleged shooter
The Mount Vernon community was shocked when Officer Mike “Mick” McClaughry was shot in the head in the line of duty. But perhaps just as shocking was the revelation that the mayor of that city was texting with the alleged shooter during the standoff.
“It’s strange to see somebody in the middle of a standoff is texting the mayor of that same town,” Mike Lewis said on KIRO Radio’s The Candy, Mike, and Todd Show. “Clearly, they had a prior, sort of mentor/mentee relationship. It’s strange that the mayor got looped into all this, and got some criticism, although, I’m not exactly sure why.”
“My understanding is that Ernesto Rivas’ background is that it’s troubled; my understanding is that he has a criminal past, a gang past,” Todd added. “At the same time, you would want someone in the mayor’s position to be a mentor.”
Mount Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau testified in court this week about text messages and a phone call she received from Ernesto Rivas, 47, while police surrounded his home. Rivas is on trial for the shooting of Officer McClaughry in 2016. The mayor testified that she knew Rivas prior to the shooting and was introduced to him through his aunt who was helping on her 2015 campaign. Since then, the two had communicated to discuss gang issues in the area.
The shooting of Officer McClaughry garnered many headlines. He was among the officers who responded to a shooting around 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2016. He was approaching a home in the area of the incident when a shot came from the home and struck him in the head. He survived the injury, but is permanently blind.
The Mount Vernon community rallied around Officer McClaughry. Actor Chad Lindberg (The Fast and the Furious, Supernatural) organized fundraisers for the officer.
Text messages between Rivas and Mayor Boudreau
Text messages between Rivas and Mayor Boudreau were released in 2017, showing the two had been texting in the weeks leading up to the shooting. It was this communication that the mayor testified on this week.
Before Lewis was co-host of the Candy, Mike, and Todd Show, he was a KIRO Radio reporter. He obtained records of those text messages. They detail communication starting in early September 2016. Rivas messaged about a protest in Seattle that he attended. They joked about how only four people showed up. In the weeks following that interaction, Rivas texted the mayor about multiple dramatic scenarios he was involved in.
On Nov. 3, 2016 at 7:24 p.m., Boudreau responded to a text from Rivas asking if he was OK.
“um yes n no. There is an issue wit wut happen the other night down my street,” he responded.
“I heard Garfield street is probably involved,” she wrote back.
“They blamed me also N it was NONE of us,” he said.
The mayor asked if Rivas can point the city in the right direction on the case. Rivas replied that they should talk soon.
The next day, Rivas texted the mayor again saying he needed help because “This b**** was chasing me right now. The mother of the Vallejo’s.”
He told the mayor that the woman had called 911 on him. Boudreau instructed Rivas to drive to the police department, which he said he would do.
“I’m on the freeway leaving town. she’s trying 2 blame me 4 trying 2 hit her when she was chasing me,” he wrote.
On Nov. 11, the two communicated again about a memorial service. Rivas said they should talk ASAP.
Their final communication was on Dec. 15, 2016 — the night of the shooting.
At 7:45 p.m. Rivas texted the Boudreau “Com 2 my house…”
The mayor asked what was happening.
“I’m going 2 die,” he wrote.
“Are you involved?” Boudreau asked.
“Yes,” he answered.
“Ernesto, please call me back,” was Boudreau’s next text.
“Text me bAck,” she messaged again.
“Ernesto, talk to me- I deserve that respect,” she wrote.
“Please,” was the final message.
Rivas was reportedly communicating with dozens of people during the standoff with police that night.
Boureau testified that the two had a brief 30-second phone call in between text messages. She also testified that she asked Rivas if he shot her police officer. He reportedly told her that he didn’t know and said that he was sorry repeatedly. She reported all of the communication to police who were outside Rivas’ house.
“When I was tipped off to this story initially, people treated it like some sort of secret relationship between the two, and this was the guy who shot a cop, but the text messages don’t show any of that,” Mike said. “She’s giving all the right advice.”