FERNDALE, Wash. — According to police radio transmissions at the time, Ferndale Police Department officers were dispatched to the 2300 block of Douglas Road on Friday, April 1st, about 7:40pm, due to a report of a hit-and-run incident involving a white van that had struck 2 vehicles and was being followed by another car at high speed from Douglas Road on to Main Street.
About 7:45pm, Washington State Patrol troopers were dispatched to a report of shots fired in the southbound lanes of I-5 south of Ferndale involving 2 vehicles that matched the hit-and-run report.
WSP Trooper Jacob Kennett said troopers were told a person in a white Ford Windstar van had called 911 to report an acquaintance in a blue Lexus sedan had shot at them while both were driving south on I-5.
Kennett said it was later learned the hit-and-run incident followed an altercation involving the Lexus driver striking the Ford van with an object, possibly a bat.
Ferndale Police Department (FPD) Spokesperson Riley Sweeney told Whatcom News FPD officers found evidence that a collision had occurred when they arrived, but no one reported being a victim of hit-and-run.
Troopers located the Lexus southbound on I-5 and followed it to a business parking lot at Telegraph Road and Meridian Street where they conducted a high-risk traffic stop. The driver was taken into custody without further incident. Both vehicles were taken into evidence and search warrants applied for according to Kennett.
The driver was identified as Leeann Ashly Phillips, age 29. She was booked into Whatcom County Jail charged with suspicion of drive-by shooting and 2nd degree assault. Kennett noted that while the initial jail booking was for 2nd degree assault, prosecutors had since bumped that to 1st degree assault after considering available evidence.
After a preliminary hearing on April 1st, bail was set at $250,000. As of April 5th, Phillips remained in custody at the Whatcom County Jail.
Until the search warrants can be served on the vehicles, it remained unknown what type of weapons were used and how many shots were fired. Kennett did say troopers had recovered some bullet fragments but did not know where they had been found.
Kennett said more details could be expected after the search warrants were served.