Crime

Police chase ends with two arrested near Bellingham airport

Video: Two people arrested after police chase ends in Bellingham

One of two suspects is shown being arrested following a pursuit that ended near Bellingham International Airport on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
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One of two suspects is shown being arrested following a pursuit that ended near Bellingham International Airport on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Police were investigating if two people in a pickup opened fire on a Lummi police officer Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 27, leading to a high-speed chase that ended near Bellingham International Airport.

The tribal officer was investigating another case around 3:45 p.m. on Lummi Shore Road when he heard a gunshot from a dark blue Chevy S-10 pickup truck, said Ralph Long, the tribe’s police chief. A civilian witness agreed that a shot was fired, Long said.

Sheriff’s deputies and Bellingham police officers joined in a chase that topped 70 mph as it wound from the east side of the Lummi peninsula, east on Marine Drive, south on Hoff Road, east again on Marine Drive, and east onto Alderwood, according to police radio traffic.

Officers laid down spike strips on the road and took out all four of the truck’s tires. On four flat tires the truck kept weaving east toward Bellingham.

An officer radioed for permission to use a PIT maneuver — tapping a front corner of the patrol car into the back corner of the truck, to make it spin out — and moments later the truck was stopped, coming to a rest facing south in eastbound lanes, straddling a double-yellow median line at Airport Drive, near Airport Way.

One of the suspects, a man in a black-and-white Air Jordan T-shirt and gray Air Jordan shoes, suffered injuries that weren’t life-threatening while being detained, according to radio traffic. Several times he refused to stand up, at times shouting expletives at police, or else silently reclining flat on the asphalt. He eventually was taken away in an ambulance.

A gun was recovered from the pickup, Long said.

Police continue to investigate if the Lummi officer had been targeted by the gunfire or if the shot was fired at something else. No one was hurt by the gunfire.

A stretch of Airport Drive was shut down for hours as police cordoned off the scene. Lummi Shore Road was shut down, too, but reopened around 6 p.m. Both tribal police and Whatcom County sheriff’s deputies are investigating, Long said.

Names of the two people in the truck hadn’t been released as of Tuesday night. They face possible charges of attempting to elude, brandishing a weapon and — depending on the outcome of the investigation — assault.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bhamcaleb.

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