State suspends license of Whatcom County nurse accused of pointing handgun at six people

The state Department of Health has suspended the license of a Whatcom County registered nurse who has been charged with pointing a .38-caliber handgun at six people, including young children.

Gwyneth Fay Hafstad was arrested Aug. 28 and charged with six counts of second-degree assault. The Kendall resident has a June 1 trial date in Whatcom County Superior Court.

Hafstad’s nursing license expired in October, but the state’s suspension prevents her from easily renewing her license.

She has 20 days to contest the state Nursing Commission’s decision to suspend her license, which bars her from working as a registered nurse, the state Department of Health announced Wednesday, April 8.

On the afternoon of Aug. 28, Hafstad allegedly gave chalk to four children— ages 3, 5, 8 and 9 — who were playing outside in the 7800 block of Chisholm Trail near her home. The children started drawing on the pavement, and she joined them.

Soon after, Hafstad walked back to her SUV and grabbed a black-and-silver handgun, according to charging documents. She pointed the gun in the air, then reportedly aimed at the children, witnesses said.

People called police. So did Hafstad, who told a dispatcher “she had been surrounded and she was forced to pull out her gun,” according to charging papers.

Her vehicle and home were searched. Deputies found a black .38-caliber Walther pistol inside a freezer.

Earlier that day, Hafstad was taking photos outside the home of two of her neighbors when she got into an argument with them. She pulled a gun from her SUV, pointed it at her neighbors and ordered them to leave before walking away and toward the children, according to the charges.