BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A Bellingham man is hospitalized in critical condition after reportedly shooting himself as law enforcement personnel attempted to arrest him following a lengthy vehicle and foot pursuit on Thursday, March 2nd.
Bellingham Police Department (BPD) Lieutenant Claudia Murphy said via email that the series of events began about 6:30pm when a Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputy located a vehicle that had been the subject of a “watch for” bulletin. It was thought that the driver would be a 40-year-old Bellingham man who is a suspect in several felony crimes including 1st-degree robbery and theft of a firearm.
The deputy located the vehicle in the area of Lake Whatcom Park on Northshore Drive and the driver immediately drove away. The driver continued to ignore the deputy’s efforts to pull over as the vehicle proceeded along Electric Avenue onto Lakeway Drive and ultimately ending up on Julia Avenue where the vehicle ended up over a retaining wall at the dead end. The driver fled the crash on foot heading west toward the I-5 and Old Fairhaven Parkway (SR11) interchange.
BPD officers arrived to assist with the pursuit. A BPD K9 unit began a track from the crash site and located the suspect near the northbound lanes.
The suspect and law enforcement personnel were separated by a fence while orders to surrender were given. The suspect began to move and a less lethal munitions launcher was used to fire a stabilized flexible baton at the suspects thigh area.
Immediately following law enforcement personnel heard a gunshot and saw the suspect fall to the ground. Officers approached, determined he suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound and began lifesaving measures.
The suspect was transported by Bellingham Fire Department medics to PeaceHealth St Joseph’s Medical Center in critical condition.
Murphy told Whatcom News the unnamed suspect remained in critical condition at the hospital as of late Saturday, March 4th.