A date, gunfire, and a road rage pursuit. It could’ve been worse


A Nugents Corner man is under arrest and a second man is being sought in connection with a shooting Saturday night, authorities said.

Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks said a 31-year-old man was beaten but not struck by gunfire. He suffered head and facial injuries and swelling, Parks said.

Jesse Ray Wardle, 19, was booked into Whatcom County Jail about 10:20 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and felony harassment. He remained in custody Monday with bail set at $100,000 on each charge, jail records show.

Meanwhile, sheriff’s deputies are seeking a second 19-year-old man in connection with the incident, which occurred about 5:30 p.m Saturday in the 3500 block of Cedarville Road, Parks said.

He said it began as the 31-year-old man dropped off Wardle’s sister at the Cedarville Road home after a date the two had.

“(Wardle) came out of the residence and fired approximately three .40 caliber rounds from his handgun in his direction, according to the victim,” Parks said.

As the 31-year-old left the home, he stopped his 1994 Ford Explorer at the end of the driveway. Wardle and another man approached and repeatedly punched the man on the left side of his head, Parks said.

“While they were striking victim they yelled at him that they were ‘going to kill’ him,” Parks said. “Victim believed the threat and was in reasonable fear for his life.”

As the man fled in his Explorer, he told deputies that Wardle chased him in a 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe west on the Mount Baker Highway, then west on East Smith Road to the corner of Noon Road – where he slammed into the rear of the Explorer at 35 to 40 mph, Parks said.

Parks said deputies served a search warrant at Wardle’s home and found a .40 caliber handgun and shell casings near the house. He said the 31-year-old man’s SUV has minor damage that matches the push bar mounted on the front of Wardle’s Tahoe.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty