Fairhaven man was cleaning his shotgun when it went off


A Bellingham man was cited on a gross misdemeanor charge after a shotgun he was cleaning fired through a closet wall in his Fairhaven apartment, police said.

No one was injured in the incident that occurred Friday night in the 1400 block of 12th Street, said Belllingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley.

Russell James Spore, 61, was cited and released on a single charge of reckless endangerment, Beckley said.

“ ... Cleaning a shotgun, he failed to check to see if it was loaded, after the accidental discharge he didn’t make any attempt to check on the neighboring apartment to see if the tenant was OK, nor did he call 911 to report the incident to have us check on the neighbor to make sure she was OK.

Beckley said the incident was reported more than nine hours after the shotgun fired, and the police activity logs show that it was investigated at 5:15 a.m. Saturday.

“Spore had gotten rid of the shotgun and the rest of his guns (which is why he was cleaning it) as he said he doesn’t need them any more,” Beckley said. “Guns were gone by the time incident was reported to police 9 hours later. Small piece of slug recovered.”

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty