BELLINGHAM - A woman who told police that she was shot by a masked gunman when she opened her apartment door recanted her story Friday, March 8, and admitted she had accidentally shot herself.
The woman, 25, told police detectives in a follow-up interview Friday afternoon that she accidentally shot herself at her first-floor apartment at 3003 Pacific St., then called 911 to report that she had been shot by a masked suspect.
Police spokesman Mark Young said he did not know the woman's motive for making up the story.
A small-caliber handgun found at the apartment Thursday belonged to the woman's boyfriend, who wasn't home when she was shot, Young said.
The woman, whose name was not released, was treated and released at St. Joseph hospital.
On Thursday, the woman called 911 just after 9 a.m. to report that she had been shot once in the chest by a masked gunman after opening her front door, according to police.
Officers scoured the neighborhood, with help from police dogs and a border helicopter, looking for a masked man. Nearby schools were locked down for most of the morning.
Investigators spoke with a person of interest who was across town during the manhunt, but he was later released from custody. The woman's male roommate, who is not her boyfriend, told police that he was in another room at the time of the shooting and didn't get a good look at the gunman.
The Whatcom County Prosecutor's Office will decide if the woman will be charged for making a false report, Young said.
"We obviously took this matter very seriously, as did the community," he said. "And we are, and I'm sure the community is, relieved that we don't have a shooter loose in our community."