BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Over 70 people are reported to have called What-Comm 911 shortly after 2am on Sunday, August 15th to report hearing shots fire in the area of the 2700 block of W Maplewood in Bellingham.
Bellingham Police Lieutenant Claudia Murphy told Whatcom News via email that officers in the area also heard the shots. “The reports indicated witnesses heard about 3 shots followed by about 20 more and that a white SUV was involved,” Murphy said.
Officers began checking the area on foot for any victims, witnesses or evidence and discovered 27 shell casings along W Maplewood Avenue. These were identified as .300 Blackout rounds that are shot from a rifle and are not commonly used.
Officers also noticed a newer white Dodge Durango at a nearby apartment complex. A man was getting out of the passenger side front door and when asked told officers he had not been driving but just came to the vehicle to get cigarettes. After the man left, officers determined the car’s engine was warm.
Other officers contacted an area resident with a security camera and reviewed a video recording of the time of the shots fired reports. They were able to hear 3 shots followed by approximately 27 more shots. Right after the shots were fired, a white newer Dodge Durango drives past.
The officers who were with the Dodge observed a pistol sticking out of the center console and identified .300 Blackout rounds also in the center console. A spent casing was seen on the passenger seat.
As the officers were preparing to seize the Dodge as evidence, the man came out of the apartment with keys to the Dodge in hand.
The man, identified as Guillermo Vieyra-Salas, age 21, was arrested and found to be in possession of 25 grams of cocaine. The Dodge was seized as evidence.
No injuries were reported as a result of the shooting.
Vieyra-Salas was booked into Whatcom County Jail and charged with suspicion of drive-by shooting and, as of August 16th, remained in custody pending being able to post a $400,000 bond.