Crime

Blaine man fired several shots at his wife, crashed car as he fled

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Police arrested a Blaine man late Tuesday on suspicion of attempted murder and other charges in connection with an attack on his wife at their home just outside the city.

Brian Lee Pukaluk, 43, was booked into Whatcom County Jail about 11 p.m. Tuesday on several charges, including attempted second-degree murder and second-degree arson. He remained in custody Wednesday morning.

Pukaluk was arrested when he crashed his car and then ran on foot after he sped away from their home, where he had attacked several people, and fired several gunshots at his wife, said Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo.

Pukaluk also set fire to some of his wife’s clothing on Christmas Eve, Elfo said.

His wife was not struck by any of the gunshots, Elfo said, but some cars in the neighborhood were damaged. She took refuge at a neighboring home.

“During the course of the attack, she fled the house,” Elfo said. “He retrieved a gun from his vehicle and he shot at her multiple times.”

It’s an instance of really atrocious domestic violence. We’re lucky that no else one was injured. This is a residential neighborhood.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo

Elfo said the incident began about 7:05 p.m. Tuesday as a report of a disturbance at a home in the 9600 block of Ronald Drive, south of H Street Road.

“It’s an instance of really atrocious domestic violence,” Elfo said. “We’re lucky that no else one was injured. This is a residential neighborhood.”

Elfo said the situation escalated quickly at the split-level home where Pukaluk lives with his wife and his parents. Both his 71-year-old father and 68-year-old mother were assaulted as they tried to protect their daughter-in-law, Elfo said.

Elfo said Pukaluk tried to take away his wife’s mobile phone – biting her thumb, punching her, and then smashing the device. She fled outside and he got a shotgun from his truck, firing at her several times.

Several of the shotgun rounds struck Pukaluk’s wife’s car next to the house.

Pukaluk then got in his truck, ramming his parents’ sedan and his wife’s bullet-riddled Volkswagen Beetle before speeding away on H Street Road. He ran on foot after he crashed his car and was arrested by a Washington State Patrol trooper on Pipeline Road.

Pukaluk’s wife, mother and father were examined by firefighters after Pukaluk was in custody, and none of their injuries required hospitalization, Elfo said.

Units from the Blaine Police, Washington State Patrol and U.S. Border Patrol assisted sheriff’s deputies, Elfo said. A Special Response Unit and armored vehicles were requested, but ultimately those weren’t needed.

In addition to the attempted murder and arson charges, Pukaluk was arrested for first-degree malicious mischief, a controlled-substance violation, hit and run of an unattended vehicle, and three counts of fourth-degree assault.

Elfo said Pukaluk is suspected of using methamphetamine, and 7 grams of the drug were found in the home and on his person.

It’s not the first time that Pukaluk has faced drug and weapons charges.

In November 2016, Pukaluk received a one-year suspended sentence for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, a felony. In August 2010, he was convicted of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and misdemeanor use or possession of a loaded firearm.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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