Gunman sentenced for firing into air in downtown Bellingham fight

Posted by CALEB HUTTON on January 24, 2014 

At least one man was jailed on weapons charges in the wake of a shooting and other possibly related violence in downtown Bellingham early Sunday, Sept. 8. 2013.


BELLINGHAM — A Tacoma man must serve one year in prison for sticking a gun in a man's face and firing into the air during a fight in downtown Bellingham, a Whatcom County Superior Court judge has ruled.

Dominic Da-Jaun Dixon, 23, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and and possession of meth.

Police heard one gunshot around 1:35 a.m. Sept. 8 in the 1200 block of Railroad Avenue — where a rowdy, drunken crowd of about 200 converged, on the verge of a riot. An officer responding to the gunfire saw Dixon pointing a .45-caliber AMT handgun about 2 feet from the face of another man, Aaron A. Towns, 20, according to court records. Dixon then fired a second round into the air. He got into his car, a 2002 Jaguar SD4, and put the gun onto the back floorboard.

Dixon, a father of two visiting from Tacoma, was arrested, charged with a drive-by shooting — because the alleged offense fit the technical definition under state law — and held at $300,000 bail.

The city's entire on-duty police force was called to downtown that morning. In the ensuing commotion, police said, Towns shouted and agitated the crowd. He was cited for disorderly conduct. His case remains pending in Bellingham Municipal Court.

Earlier this month Deputy Prosecutor Jeffrey Sawyer amended the charges to reflect a search warrant served on Dixon's Jaguar. Fifty orange pills had been found in his glove box. One of them tested positive for methamphetamine.

A mistake in his plea and sentencing paperwork delayed the resolution of the case. The error has since been fixed. Dixon is now incarcerated at the state prison in Shelton. Superior Court Judge Ira Uhrig approved the plea deal, which nixes the drive-by shooting charge.

According to court records, Dixon must pay the bill for "all offenses covered in police reports" and serve his time in a state prison.

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