BREAKING NEWS: The Sumas shooting suspect is in custody. "We don't believe there's any continuing threat to the community," Sheriff Bill Elfo says.
This story will be updated.
SUMAS - A suspected drug smuggler armed with a handgun remained at large Tuesday, April 2, after U.S. agents said he shot at them when they tried to detain him east of the Sumas border crossing.
Agents were monitoring two camouflaged men toting backpacks at 9:10 a.m. near the backwoods of Reese Hill and Heady roads. When the agents approached, one man fired shots at them and fled, said U.S. Border Patrol Agent Eric Dorais. Officers detained the other suspect.
Nobody was injured by the gunfire, Dorais said.
Three border helicopters, police dogs, sheriff's deputies and federal agents joined in a massive manhunt through dense woods along the border. Authorities were searching logging roads for a black man wearing camouflage. He had a holstered handgun. A SWAT team from the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office moved in to assist in the search.
Dorais declined to confirm any information aside from a written statement. He wouldn't say if the man was still at large.
But into the evening hours, police scanner traffic suggested that the search remained very much alive - with those on the ground relaying their movements to helicopter pilots. Police dogs worked in shifts, but hours later, the armed suspect remained on the loose. Border agents were preparing to stay through the night.
On the B.C. side of the border, Abbotsford police had set up a perimeter of their own, according to Canadian media. A B.C. radio station, News 1130 AM, reported police had gone door to door in search of the suspect. But it's not clear if he ran north into Canada.
Loggers recently cleared out many of the trees in the area. A network of trails leads to the border.
A multitude of law enforcement agencies - represented, in part, by FBI agents, state troopers and a helicopter from Canada Border Services - have assisted in the manhunt. Nearby rural roads were shut down for more than six hours.
Reach Caleb Hutton at email@example.com or 360-715-2276. Read his Dispatcher blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher or get updates on Twitter at @bhamcrime.