Evening out ends in an assault, victim succumbs to injuries

Suspect arrested in early morning hours by Bellingham Police

May 02, 2019 - by Claudia Murphy, PIO
Shelby James Best, 28, of Blaine was arrested for Murder 2nd degree by Bellingham Police Officers in the early morning hours of May 2, 2019.   Best and the victim had been socializing for several hours when a fight broke out between them.  Best assaulted the victim, who fell to the ground unconscious and despite medical intervention, died of his injuries.   The victim has been identified as 30-year-old Joshua Paulley-Davenport of Bellingham. 
On the evening of May 1, 2019, Best, Paulley-Davenport and a third person were socializing in the Fairhaven District of Bellingham.  As the bars were closing all three returned to Paulley-Davenport’s residence to continue socializing, with the plan being that Best would stay the night.
The third person was in a different part of the house when sounds of the two males wrestling could be heard.   The two men were checked on and Paulley-Davenport had a swollen left eye at this point and was telling Best to leave the residence.  Shortly after, the third person found Paulley-Davenport lying on the walkway outside the home, unconscious and bleeding.  Bellingham Police Officers arrived on scene and began CPR efforts and were relieved by Bellingham Fire Department Medics who took over emergent live-saving 
measures.  Despite these efforts, Paulley-Davenport succumbed to his injuries on scene.  Best had fled the location and a search for him ensued.
Best’s car was found parked near the Fairhaven District and Best was contacted by police officers at approximately 4:50 a.m. on May 2, 2019 as he approached and got into the car.  He was taken into custody without incident.  Best was found to have notable abrasions and cuts on his hands.
“I am grateful and appreciative for the officers and medics who did everything they could to help Joshua,” said Chief David Doll, “as well as the efforts by patrol and detectives to apprehend Best as quickly as they did.”​
Best was booked into the Whatcom County Jail for Murder 2nd degree.

Media Contact

​Claudia Murphy, PIO

Bellingham Police Department



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