Police: Bellingham woman shot as she opens front door

Updated:

Police responded to a shooting in Bellingham on Thursday morning.

Police said a woman was shot Thursday morning as she opened the door to her duplex at 3003 Pacific St in Bellingham.


The 25-year-old woman called 911 herself and was able to tell officers that a man in a mask shot her with a rifle and then fled the scene.


A relative of the victim told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Lee Stoll that the victim was shot through the shoulder.  She was taken to St. Joseph Hospital, where she was recovering on Thursday night.


Neighbors told Stoll that the young woman moved in with several children and a roommate this summer.


"I was shocked,” neighbor Diane Pullar said. “It wasn't long ago that she was taken away in an ambulance for some other reason.  It's kind of scary."


Police immediately named a person of interest, a man who had been in a relationship with the victim. They found him at work, but by noon they knew he was not the shooter.


In their frantic search for the assailant, an officer ended up at 3023 Pacific St, a one number difference from the victim’s address. 


Mitch Lindstrand and his roommates were asleep when, they said, a Bellingham police officer kicked in the door with such force that it broke the frame.


“The door swung open so bad that it broke this and knocked that out,” Lindstrand said, pointing to the damage.


"I just heard, ‘Get on the ground,' and I was in my bed, so I rolled over," Lindstrand said.


"While it was happening we were all like, ‘What is going on?’”  Lindstrand’s roommate Nick Babbit said.  “We didn't do anything wrong."


A police spokesperson said that they did not believe that the shooting was random, and that the suspect, who could be armed, was still at large.


Neighbors said that they could not find any reason for someone to open fire through an open door.


“I do believe in self-defense but that's not self-defense,” neighbor Robert Rayford said.


Police were still at the scene on Thursday evening, searching the house and looking at tire tracks leading over the grass from the driveway.


Police said that they were questioning several people.