On Thursday, January 28, 2021, a 37-year-old white male suspect, was shot by an employee of Yeager’s Sporting goods, as he used a hammer to smash the glass on a gun case to commit a robbery of firearms. The suspect sustained a gunshot wound to the chest, was transported to PeaceHealth, and then on to Harborview Medical Center for emergent care.
Initially officers were called to the Haggen Foods store on Meridian Street at approximately 11:04 a.m., for a robbery where two men came into the store, stole multiple bottles of liquor (estimated value of $517.43) and left without paying. One of the suspects (the same one who was shot minutes later) implied he had a gun and would use it on the Haggen employee if he continued to follow the suspect. Both suspects left the store and got into a car and left. Haggen employees noted the license plate of the car, which was broadcast to other patrol officers.
At 11:16 a.m., just 14 minutes later, officers were called to a robbery in progress with gunshots fired at Yeager’s Sporting Goods on Northwest Ave. Officers responded and entered the store, where they found one suspect on the floor with a gunshot wound to the chest, being detained by store employees. Officers summoned Immediate medical aid, and Bellingham Fire Department Medics transported the suspect to PeaceHealth for further care.
Officers discovered the 37-year-old suspect from Haggen entered Yeager’s and walked to the gun counter, pulling out a hammer. He used the hammer and struck the glass top several times to break it. When yelled at to stop, the suspect kept hitting the glass and tried climbing over the counter. The employee, fearing for his life as the suspect was gaining access to firearms and ammunition, pulled his concealed firearm and shot the suspect once in the chest.
The second suspect, a 41-year-old Native American male, from the Haggen robbery was contacted and interviewed about both incidents. The second suspect never entered Yeager’s and will be investigated for his part in the robbery at Haggen. He was also transported in need of medical attention for a medical issue unrelated to the events at Yeager’s.
The 37-year-old suspect is currently at Harborview Medical Center receiving treatment for his gunshot wound. There is probable cause for his arrest for robbery 1st degree (attempted), robbery 2nd degree (Haggen), and theft of a firearm (attempted.) Further charges may be filed as this suspect is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms and the car he was driving was stolen.
The employee at Yeager’s Sporting Goods did not sustain any injuries during the robbery. Bellingham Police detectives are continuing their investigation in to this case.