BELLINGHAM - Police have identified the 17-year-old boy who died after being stabbed in a fight early Saturday, Feb. 9, as Bellingham resident Davonte R. Thompson, according to the Bellingham Police Department.
Thompson was stabbed in the chest and died from his wounds during surgery at St. Joseph hospital at about 8:30 a.m., Whatcom County Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel said.
Thompson arrived at the hospital with an 18-year-old who was stabbed in the face and head in the same fight. The 18-year-old left the hospital before he was done being treated, and police are hoping to talk to him to get more details about what led up to the stabbing, police spokesman Mark Young said.
Geoff Spain, 21, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder and first-degree assault in connection with the stabbings. Spain was scheduled to have his first appearance in court Monday afternoon, but it was delayed.
A Facebook memorial page was started for Thompson over the weekend, and by Monday it had more than 1,650 likes. Friends described Thompson as brave and remembered an amazing smile that he shared often. Thompson had been a student at Squalicum High School but wasn't currently enrolled, Bellingham School District spokeswoman Tanya Rowe said. He stopped going to school in mid-September 2012, according to court records.
Spain is a renter at a house in the 500 block of Samish Way, where a party had occurred Friday night. Police were called to the party at about 11:20 p.m. Friday after a noise complaint, and the officer spoke to Spain and saw that people were leaving the party without incident. Police were called to the area again at about 1:40 a.m. for a parking problem that may have been connected with people leaving the party.
Some time after that, the teens were involved in a fight in the street at Samish Way and Fielding Avenue. During that fight, they were stabbed, and the 18-year-old drove himself and Thompson to the hospital.
The same officer who broke up the party responded to the hospital at about 2:15 a.m. after staff called to report the stabbing victims. When the officer heard witness descriptions of the man who stabbed the teens, he recognized the description as matching Spain.
The officer returned to the house where the party happened and was speaking with two other roommates when Spain walked in, covered in mud and what appeared to be blood. When Spain saw police, he ran but was caught after a brief chase.
It's still unclear what led to the fight, Young said, and whether the teens were at the party and had been kicked out or whether they weren't allowed in after the party was shut down. Spain is not talking to investigators, and police want to hear from anyone with information about what happened to lead to the stabbing.
"We know there are people that are out there who know about this and aren't coming forward," Young said.
People with information can call Detective Dan Kelsh at 360-778-8690. People also can submit anonymous tips online at cob.org/government/departments/police. The tip line is under the " Quick Links" section.
Spain has had some minor run-ins with the law, according to court records in Washington state. In late January he was arrested on suspicion of a misdemeanor assault involving his roommate, Young said.
Thompson pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in 2012, after he and friends repeatedly kicked a man who was trying to help a woman that he and his friends were fighting with, according to court records.
Earlier this year, Thompson pleaded guilty to residential burglary for throwing a rock through the bedroom window of a woman he knew. He went into the bedroom, took the woman's phone and tried to stab it with a knife. He had violated the terms of his supervision twice, testing positive for cocaine and marijuana, not attending school and being in possession of a knife when he was contacted by police in December, according to the records.
Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.