Whatcom County, WA- The Bellingham Police Department responded to three separate shooting on August 15th, 2021.
According to a press release from the Bellingham Police Department, What-comm 9-1-1 received over 70 calls about shots fired around 2:15 a.m. in the 2700 block of West Maplewood Street. Responding officers found over twenty five .300 blackout casings in the roadway. These are not common rounds and are shot from a rifle according to the Bellingham Police Department Spokesperson.
As Bellingham Officers were checking the area, Officers found a white Dodge Durango with a male getting out of the passenger side. He denied knowing what was going on. Further investigation led patrol officers to surveillance video which identified a white Dodge Durango as being involved. They went back to the white Durango and looked inside the windows. Officers saw a pistol partially hidden under the center console and shell casings inside, matching those shell casings that were found on the road.
Soon, the same male contacted earlier, identified as 21-Year Old Guillermo Vieyra Salas, came from an apartment with the Durango keys in his hand. He was detained and arrested for Drive-By Shooting. Officers found 25 grams of Cocaine in his possession. He was booked into the Whatcom County Jail, and the Durango was seized as evidence.
Bellingham Police Department Detectives were assigned the case, applied for and were granted a search warrant for the Durango. This search revealed the following evidence (among other items):
– A Noveske short-barreled rifle chambered in .300 Blackout – this weapon was discovered to be stolen in a burglary reported to Sedro Woolley Police Department.
– A Smith and Wesson pistol found sticking out of the center console (as the officer saw it on the night of the drive-by shooting)
– A multitude of .300 Blackout ammunition, along with a spent casing.
– Three 45 round magazines, loaded full of .300 Blackout ammunition
– Three 30 round magazines, loaded full of .300 Blackout ammunition
Probable cause for the additional charges of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (two counts) and Possession of a Stolen Firearm was developed and served on Vieyra Salas in the Whatcom County Jail where he is housed, in lieu of $400,000.00 bail.
Whatcom County Superior Court Records show that on August 3rd, Vieyra-Salas pled guilty to third-degree assault, after he shot himself in the leg in 2018. He told investigators in that incident he had found the gun earlier in the day at a local convenience store. He was sentenced to one-month in jail for that incident and was to report to the Whatcom County Jail on August 31st, 2021 to serve his sentence.
In two separate incidents, Bellingham Police responded to reports of shots fired in the 300 block of Cedar St with witnesses hearing an argument and then someone being shot inside a vehicle. A victim of the shooting later showed up at the ER and needed surgery for non-life-threatening injuries.
Bellingham Police Department Photo
The third shooting incident was reported as gunfire heard in the 4100 block of Meridian. One shell casing was found but detectives did not find any other evidence at that scene.