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UPDATED: 40-year-old man arrested on suspicion of 1st degree murder by Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) arrested and booked John Roper Thomson into Whatcom County Jail today, Monday, August 8th, charged with suspicion of 1st degree murder.

WCSO spokesperson Deb Slater said in a press release WCSO deputies and detectives responded to an area near the North Cascades Highway (SR20) near Newhalem in regard to a homicide investigation.

The park rangers from the North Cascades National Park had responded at approximately 4am to a report of a single gunshot followed by more in rapid succession. They arrived in the area at approximately 4:45am and contacted a Seattle man, identified as Thomson, sitting in a vehicle on the highway. Thomson told the rangers he did not hear any shots. Rangers continued to investigate the area. Passing by where they had contacted Thomson earlier, they noticed a “large quantity of blood” and bullet holes on the guard rail. While investigating further, they discovered the body of a deceased 69-year-old man down an embankment. It was later determined the body was that of Thomson’s brother.

Rangers later located and detained Thomson near Newhalem. An AR-15-style rifle was visible in the vehicle through the windows.

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WCSO detectives, crime scene investigators and patrol deputies were requested to continue the investigation.

Thomson was interviewed and confessed to shooting his brother multiple times with the intent to kill him. Thomson is a convicted felon and not able to legally possess firearms.

Thomson has been charged with 2 counts of unlawful possession of firearms in addition to the first-degree murder charge.

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