Gunshot fired from Bellingham motel wounds man; no arrests

A pellet fired from a Bellingham motel room left a man with a life-threatening injury earlier this week, but as of Thursday, Sept. 8, detectives haven’t been able to establish who pulled the trigger, according to police.

A man, 31, got into an argument with another man in his 40s over some kind of a transaction, which may have involved methamphetamine, Sunday afternoon, Sept. 4, in the 200 block of North Samish Way, said Bellingham Police Sgt. Mike Scanlon.

The two men separated, and shortly thereafter while the younger man looked through his bag on the sidewalk, he felt a sting in the side of his chest below his right armpit, according to police. He’d been shot. He was rushed to St. Joseph hospital by ambulance around 1:45 p.m., and X-rays showed a pellet from a high-powered pellet gun lodged in his torso.

He survived, and he has since been released from the hospital. The pellet was not surgically removed, Scanlon said.

Police suspect the gunshot came from a nearby motel room window, where the older man and his girlfriend were staying. Detectives have interviewed persons of interest and served a search warrant on the older man’s motel room, where they found weapons including a high-powered air rifle, Scanlon said. Drugs were recovered, too, when the warrant was served.

But so far no one has been arrested. Police plan to hold follow-up interviews this week with the people involved before deciding what charges, if any, to recommend.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb