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Firefighters held at gunpoint while responding to medical call

Bellingham firefighters responding to a medical aid call found themselves facing a man with a gun, prompting a police standoff


By Robert Mittendorf
The Bellingham Herald

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham firefighters responding to a medical aid call found themselves facing a man with a gun, prompting a police standoff Saturday that closed roads in the Barkley neighborhood for about four hours.

“Shortly after they arrived, our crew reported that someone pointed a gun at them,” said Assistant Chief Bill Hewett of the Bellingham Fire Department.

Hewett said the three members of an ambulance crew and a woman quickly left the man’s apartment in the 1800 block of Sunset Drive and radioed for police about 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

No injuries were reported.

Police blocked Sunset Drive at Orleans Street and at Hannegan Road/Woburn Street as the man barricaded himself in his apartment, said Bellingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley.

Beckley said the man also was armed with a knife, but that the “firearm” proved to be an airsoft BB gun.

“One of our crisis negotiators was able to begin talking with the male, ultimately convincing him to leave any weapons behind ... and come to a safe place so we could take him to the hospital for care,” Beckley said.

She said the man was taken by ambulance, with a police officer inside, to St. Joseph hospital.

Police opened the road again about 8:20 p.m., Beckley said.

Copyright 2018 The Bellingham Herald

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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