Police: Bellingham man emerged from woods, aimed gun at couple

A Bellingham man was arrested Saturday, Feb. 20, to face charges of pointing a gun at a young couple in a church parking lot.

A woman, 24, and her fiancé, 25, had met up at the Spring Creek Bible Church, 567 E. Kellogg Road, with Saturday evening plans to have dinner at his parents’ house, said Bellingham Police Sgt. Mike Scanlon.

The woman left her van at the church. She was getting into her fiancé’s car around 7:10 p.m. when a man with a pistol emerged from the woods, Scanlon said. The couple told police the stranger came toward them with the barrel of the handgun pointed at them.

They “got the heck out of there,” Scanlon said, and called police at a nearby fire station, 4060 Deemer Road. Officers responded to the church with a police dog.

Within minutes a man, Nicholas Dario Shore, 33, walked out of the woods, Scanlon said. The couple returned to the scene and identified him as the armed man, Scanlon said.

Shore was in custody at 8:20 p.m. After being advised of his rights, he told police he brought out the gun because he planned to trade it for a pickup truck. He did not have a satisfactory explanation for the alleged assault, according to police. He told officers generally where he left the gun, but police haven’t been able to find it, Scanlon said.

Shore was booked into jail on suspicion of assault in the first degree. Court records show he made a first appearance Monday in front of Superior Court Commissioner Alfred Heydrich. Bail is listed at $100,000.

Shore has no felony convictions on his record in Washington, but he has had a few brushes with the law.

A state trooper pulled him over for driving 18 mph under the speed limit, while drifting in his lane, in December 2009. The trooper found a meth pipe in his car and believed Shore was under the influence, according to charging papers. Charges were dismissed when he graduated from Whatcom County’s drug court program in June 2011.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb