A 26-year-old man suspected in a drive-by shooting in Mount Vernon was arrested at Teddy Bear Cove Tuesday evening, July 2, after allegedly stripping off his clothes and pretending to be a sunbather, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.
Mount Vernon authorities alerted the sheriff's office that there was a drive-by shooting near the Walmart on Freeway Drive at about 4:40 p.m., and that the suspect was driving north on Chuckanut Drive toward Whatcom County.
Sheriff's deputies, Bellingham Police officers, a police dog and a Homeland Security helicopter were used to track the man down. His car was found abandoned on the side of Chuckanut Drive about one mile south of the Whatcom County line.
The man and the passenger in his car ran down a steep embankment, crossed the railroad tracks and headed toward the water. Authorities tracked them to Teddy Bear Cove, where the driver had taken off his clothes and jumped into the water to fit in with others on the beach, according to the sheriffs office. The passenger remained on the shore.
The two were taken into custody and handed over to Skagit authorities.
The driver, Jose Manuel Lozano, was booked into Skagit County Jail for investigation of first-degree assault, drive-by shooting and unlawful possession of a firearm.
The passenger wasn't arrested, and police don't believe he had any idea the shooting was going to happen, said Mount Vernon Police Department Lt. Chris Cammock.
The men had met up with acquaintances shortly before the shooting occurred, and there didn't appear to be any problems brewing. But when Lazaro pulled up next to the acquaintances in their car on the road minutes later, he allegedly pulled a handgun out of his glove box and fired one shot into the other vehicle, Cammock said. No one was injured.
Police don't believe the shooting was gang-related or involved any retaliation.
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