BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham woman took a gunshot to the chest when she answered the door of her Pacific Street apartment Thursday morning, March 7. Police were still looking for the suspect into the evening.
Just before 9:08 a.m., a masked man knocked on the first-story front door of 3003 Pacific St., said Bellingham police spokesman Mark Young.
Moments later the tenant, a woman in her 20s, called 911. She'd been shot once in the chest. She lay down on the couch until an ambulance could rush her to St. Joseph hospital.
Police dogs and a border helicopter scoured the area, looking for a man with a long-barrelled gun. Other than the mask, police didn't have any description of the suspect or his vehicle as of Thursday afternoon. Detectives aren't even sure if the man drove to the scene. They were also trying to determine what kind of gun the man fired.
"A shotgun would have done a lot more damage," Young said. "It's more likely a rifle."
The woman could still speak. She told police some basic information, but her need for immediate medical treatment hampered officers' efforts to interview her. Police said she was in satisfactory condition Thursday afternoon.
Earlier reports, suggesting that police were searching for a 5-foot-6 Asian man named Justin Jesse Pring, 26, were broadcast to officers because he had a history with the victim - not because that's how the victim described the shooter, Young said.
Police detained Pring within 40 minutes at his workplace on Roeder Avenue.
"He's cooperating," Young said, at about noon. "It could very well be that this is not our guy."
Pring was later released from police custody. A second "person of interest" - also not considered a suspect - was interviewed, Young said. He wasn't arrested, either.
And police don't suspect a man living at the apartment of foul play. He was at home during the shooting, however, and might have valuable information for officers.
Nobody else in the neighborhood reported the gunshot, Young said.
Anyone with tips should call 911.