Fight in downtown Bellingham ends in gunfire, two men injured

Gawain Orcutt, 23, arrested for assault first degree, second suspect still at large

July 17, 2022 - by Claudia Murphy, PIO

Shortly after midnight on July 17, 2022, two groups of people were fighting near the Underground Nightclub in downtown Bellingham.  Gawain Orcutt, from Mount Vernon, got a handgun from a nearby SUV, fired in the air, then shot the first victim. He continued to shoot several more rounds at people, damaging a car. Orcutt shot directly at the first victim, 42, striking him in the foot, causing a non-life-threatening injury.  Bellingham Police K-9 Destro and his handler found Orcutt walking downtown and arrested him for three counts of assault first degree.

Bellingham Police were alerted to shots being fired in the downtown area near the Underground Nightclub and immediately responded.  The initial investigation revealed Orcutt shot the 42-year-old-man, fired rounds at two other victims by a car and then fled the scene. These two victims are a 30-year-old-man and a 25-year-old-woman.

Further investigation and witness accounts revealed a second suspect involved in the fight also retrieved a gun and began firing into the crowd, hitting a 20-year-old man in the leg. He sustained a serious injury.  Both victims were taken to the hospital for further treatment.  The second suspect is still at large.

Orcutt stayed in the downtown area where he was spotted by K-9 Destro’s handler.  Orcutt was ordered to stop and get on the ground.  He looked away and kept walking.  K-9 Destro and his handler were able to work as a team and take Orcutt into custody.  He was booked into the Whatcom County jail on three counts of assault in the first degree.

More than a dozen shell casings, from two different weapons, were recovered at the scene by Bellingham Police (BPD) Crime Scene Investigators.  BPD Detective Division is taking the lead on the shooting investigation and are actively working to identify and locate the second suspect.  If you have any information you can share about the events from last night, contact BPD in one of the following ways:

Phone tip line:  360-778-8611

Email tip line:

Media Contact

Claudia Murphy, Lieutenant
Bellingham Police Department
(360) 778-8834

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