Crime

Whatcom County juvenile arrested after reported 2-hour standoff with deputies, SWAT

Two-hour standoff ends with arrest

An unnamed 16-year-old was taken into custody by Whatcom County Sheriff's deputies the evening of Saturday, Aug, 3, 2019, at about 9:30 p.m., in the 3300 block of Redwood Avenue, west of Bellingham, Wash., after a two-hour standoff.
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An unnamed 16-year-old was taken into custody by Whatcom County Sheriff's deputies the evening of Saturday, Aug, 3, 2019, at about 9:30 p.m., in the 3300 block of Redwood Avenue, west of Bellingham, Wash., after a two-hour standoff.

A 16-year-old boy who was believed to be high on methamphetamine and armed with a handgun reportedly barricaded himself into a Whatcom County apartment during a nearly two-hour standoff with law enforcement Saturday evening, Aug. 3.

According to a Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office press release, the juvenile, who was not named, was booked into the Whatcom County Juvenile Detention center on suspicion of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, third-degree assault and obstructing a public servant.

The juvenile also had outstanding probable cause warrants out of Bellingham for second-degree robbery, fourth-degree assault and third-degree theft, the release said.

“I’m proud of our deputies for the very professional manner in which they ensured the safety of the neighborhood and peacefully resolved this tense situation,” Sheriff Bill Elfo said in the release.

Deputies were called to the 3300 block of Redwood Avenue, just west of Bellingham, after the juvenile’s mother reported that her son was high on meth and “freaking out,” punching holes in the walls of the apartment, the release said. The mother also reported that the juvenile was armed and had fired five to six shots inside the apartment.

Once deputies arrived, they reportedly heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the apartment complex and evacuated nearby residents.

Deputies saw the juvenile looking out the apartment windows, the release said, and called for him to come out. But the juvenile reportedly refused to comply, closed the curtains, turned off the lights and yelled at deputies.

The sheriff’s office’s SWAT and Crisis Negotiations teams were called to assist, the release stated, and after nearly two hours, the juvenile exited the apartment.

After being taken into custody and placed in a patrol vehicle, the juvenile spit in a deputy’s face, the release said.

The juvenile did tell deputies where he left the handgun, which deputies found after the mother allowed them to search the apartment, the release stated. The gun, a Smith and Wesson 9 mm pistol, had a loaded magazine, an empty chamber and reportedly was confirmed to have been stolen in a Bellingham incident.

Investigators were unable to find evidence that the gun had been shot inside the apartment, the release said.

The Bellingham Police and Washington State Patrol assisted during the incident.

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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