Bullet grazes man's head at Bellingham wedding after-party

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDAugust 19, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - Police arrested a gunman suspected of shooting at another man's head this weekend at a wedding after-party in Bellingham.

During the wedding celebration, Serapio Santos-Garcia, 20, and a man in his early 20s had been drunkenly arguing about lifting weights late Friday, Aug. 16.

Later on the argument got heated. So Santos-Garcia ran over to a black Cadillac de Ville parked in the 4500 block of Meridian Street, grabbed a handgun from inside and fired one round at the victim, said Police Sgt. Shawn Aiumu.

Santos-Garcia and two friends immediately jumped into the de Ville and fled, Aiumu said. Police couldn't find them.

The bullet grazed the victim's head. An ambulance took him to St. Joseph hospital. His injuries weren't life-threatening.

"He's lucky," Aiumu said.

Four hours later, an alert police officer in Ferndale spotted the car, and Santos-Garcia, in the 1500 block of Main Street, Aiumu said. Officers didn't find the gun, but they recovered a .45-caliber casing in the driveway of the Meridian Street home.

Police arrested Santos-Garcia on suspicion of first-degree assault in a drive-by shooting.

State law considers it a drive-by when someone recklessly fires a gun "either from a motor vehicle or from the immediate area of a motor vehicle that was used to transport the shooter or the firearm, or both, to the scene of the discharge."

Santos-Garcia was being held in jail on $200,000 bail. Officers impounded the Cadillac and obtained a warrant to search it.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Dispatcher blog at bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher-blog or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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