He reportedly pointed a handgun at a Bellingham police officer and two others

Bellingham police arrested a man carrying a handgun who allegedly pointed it at three people, including an officer, Saturday afternoon in the Sunset Square shopping center.

Alexander Edward Reed, 27, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of third-degree assault and felony harassment, according to jail records, and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

According to information provided by Lt. Claudia Murphy in an email Tuesday to The Bellingham Herald, officers responded at 1:38 p.m. to a report of a man, who was later identified as Reed, walking with a handgun near the Safeway grocery store. While in transit, officers were told Reed was walking into the Safeway with the gun still in his hand.

Upon arrival, an officer saw Reed with a black handgun in his hand, Murphy said, and people were pointing to Reed. Reed then pointed the gun at the officer and made a fake recoil motion with his hand, as if he’d shot the gun, Murphy said. The officer immediately took evasive action, stopped his car, got out, drew his service weapon and shouted to Reed to drop the gun.

Reed dropped the handgun, which ejected the magazine when it hit the ground, Murphy said, but Reed did not comply with other commands from officers, forcing police to strike him with flexible batons.

After Reed was taken into custody, she said, further investigation showed that Reed had pointed the gun at two other people before police arrived.

Reed was taken to St. Joseph’s hospital for treatment for a minor injury and to see a mental health care professional, Murphy said, before he was medically released and booked into jail.

According to court records, Reed has previous Whatcom County convictions for possession of stolen property, vehicle prowling, identity theft, criminal trespassing and malicious mischief from arrests in 2016 and 2017.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.