Crime

Suspect in Sunnyland drive-by shooting returns to the scene, and police notice

Washington state crimes by the numbers

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs 2017 Crime in Washington Annual Report details crimes against persons, property and society statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state.
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The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs 2017 Crime in Washington Annual Report details crimes against persons, property and society statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state.

A man’s interest in a Bellingham Police investigation into a Sunnyland neighborhood drive-by shooting Friday evening, June 28, and his distinctive Mustang helped lead officers to identify him as a suspect. Nobody was injured in what was reported as a road-rage incident.

Patrick Charles Olberg, 23, was booked into Whatcom County Jail Friday on suspicion of drive-by shooting, obstructing a police officer and second-degree driving with license suspended, according to jail records, and he was released on $15,000 bail on Sunday, June 30.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Lt. Claudia Murphy, officers were called at 8:32 p.m. Friday to the 2200 block of James Street for the report of a man driving a distinct Ford Mustang firing a gun in the air and leaving northbound on James Street. Another car that was involved reportedly left heading southbound.

Police located two 9 mm shell casing and a live 9 mm round on the road near the intersection of James and Carolina streets, Murphy said. Officers also spoke to a number of witnesses, who gave detailed descriptions of a green Mustang with a black front fender and the driver and passenger in the car.

While officers were investigating, Murphy said, Olberg and another man arrived at the scene in a Toyota 4Runner and appeared quite interested in the investigation. Olberg and the other man were also reportedly pointed out as “looking remarkably like the two who had been in the Mustang when the shots were fired,” Murphy said.

Police got the name of Olberg and the other man, Murphy said, and as the investigation continued, officers remembered contacting Olberg earlier in the year when he was driving a Mustang that matched the description of the one involved in Friday’s shooting. Police later located the Mustang, which was still warm from being used, at Olberg’s home, Murphy said.

A records check also showed that Oberg had recently purchased a 9 mm Ruger pistol.

Officers located Olberg and the man believed to be the passenger at 10:15 p.m. near the intersection of Texas and King streets. Officers called for Olberg to raise his hands and get on the ground, Murphy said, but Olberg refused, keeping his left hand near his waistband.

Since police believed he had fired a gun in the air earlier in the evening and might have been armed, Murphy said, police used a taser to safely take Olberg into custody. A search reportedly revealed a holster in Olberg’s front waistband.

After he was read his rights, Olgerg reportedly informed police that a gun was in the green Mustang at his house, Murphy said. A 9 mm Ruger pistol also was found in the 4Runner after police obtained a search warrant.

“Thankfully, no one was injured or killed as a result of Olberg’s reckless, dangerous act of drive-by shooting,” Murphy told The Herald.

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.
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