Teen sought in shooting near downtown Bellingham; no injuries

Police are seeking a 17-year-old boy in connection with a drive-by shooting near downtown on Tuesday evening, Aug. 30.

No one was injured in the incident about 8 p.m. on westbound Lakeway Drive at the intersection of Jersey, Ellis and Holly streets.

Police have identified the suspected shooter, who is from Whatcom County, but he was not in custody as of Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 31, and his name was not released because he is a minor, said Bellingham Police Lt. Bob VanderYacht.

“He has connections to a local or regional gang, but we (police) don’t think this shooting was directly connected to gang activity,” VanderYacht said in an email. “This was a focused incident and we have no reason to believe there is a threat to the public. We are continuing our search for the 17-year-old who also has known associates in Mount Vernon.”

VanderYacht said the incident apparently stems from an earlier domestic dispute involving the alleged shooter and his cousin. The cousin’s car had been burglarized, and she – through friends and family – accused the 17-year-old of the crime, VanderYacht said.

VanderYacht said the suspect was in the passenger side of a car that pulled alongside the car that the alleged victim was driving as both were stopped for a traffic light on Lakeway Drive.

The two argued, and the teen fired two shots from a revolver into the driver’s side of the victim’s car, striking the rear of the front door and the front of the rear door, VanderYacht said. The driver sped north on Ellis Street.

He said police were still interviewing witnesses and canvassing the area for video footage.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty