Two Whatcom County Sheriff's Office deputies were shot Thursday in the Peaceful Valley area of Whatcom County while reportedly trying to break up a neighborhood dispute in which two people were shooting at each other.
A sheriff's office news release Thursday night said both injured deputies were "conscious, alert and in stable condition," at St. Joseph's hospital in Bellingham.
The suspect in the shooting surrendered after approximately an hour and half at 6:02 p.m. and was taken into custody, according to the release, which did not include the suspect's name.
Deputies were called to the neighborhood dispute in the Peaceful Valley area at approximately 4:18 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, Slater reported. They arrived on scene and reportedly tried to speak with a man who had a shotgun.
As they attempted to speak from the street with the man, both deputies were shot.
The investigation remains active, according to the release, which added that the sheriff's office has requested that the Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Response Team take over the investigation.
Unconfirmed emergency radio reports at the time said the suspect was in a house in the 3000 block of Green Valley Drive.
Michael, a neighbor in the area who asked not to have his last name used, told The Herald that a deputy told him that police had been shot, to lock himself inside and not to come out. He also reported hearing five to six gunshots.
A tweet by Washington State Patrol Trooper Jacob Kennett at 6:09 p.m. said "the subject has now surrendered and is in custody. It is unknown if there are other occupants in the residence." The Herald has asked the sheriff's office to confirm.
More than a dozen law enforcement vehicles from various Whatcom County agencies were seen speeding eastbound on the Mount Baker Highway.
According to unconfirmed emergency broadcasts at the time, Mount Baker Highway was shut down for a period and law enforcement cleared intersections in Bellingham for medical units that were on their way to St. Joseph's hospital in Bellingham.
Other unconfirmed radio reports stated that law enforcement had set up a perimeter in the Peaceful Valley area.
Michael reported that a house in the neighborhood, believed to be the suspect's, was lit up by floodlights Thursday night and a large number of law enforcement remained in the area as of 8 p.m.
Traffic on Kendall Road was backed up about a quarter of a mile, as a heavy law enforcement presence remained in the area.
St. Joseph's hospital was put on lockdown for a few minutes before being switched to "restricted access" as a precaution, hospital spokesperson Bev Mayhew told The Herald in an email. Restricted access means security takes greater care at the hospital's entrances and was done in response to the reported shootings.
State Sen. Simon Sefzik, who represents the 42nd District of north Whatcom County, tweeted that he led the Senate in a moment of silence, adding, "We must protect our law enforcement officers from this senselessness."
Sefzik was not alone in offering thoughts to the deputies who were shot.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with your deputies and those who love them!" the Yakima Police Department tweeted in response to a Whatcom County Sheriff's Office tweet about the shooting.
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