Robbery suspects hospitalized after shootout with police

by: Alison Grande Updated:

Chopper 7 captured the scene from above.

BELLINGHAM - Two men are hospitalized in Bellingham after being shot by police on Thursday.

Investigators say it started just before 6 p.m., when the pair robbed the Shell Gas Station on Meridian.

Dave Larson says one of the men held a sawed off shotgun to his head and demanded cash.

At first he thought it was a joke, but that quickly changed, “when he raised it up and cocked it…a shell came out. I knew it was serious. He just said give me your f-ing money.” Said Larson.

Larson put the cash register drawer on the counter, the men grabbed the cash.

“You get a tingle from your feet all the way to your head.  Just oh my God, take care of business and hope they don’t pull the trigger. After, you get angry and feel violated,” described Larson.

The men left in a maroon vehicle. Larson called police and the chase was on. Police followed the men up the Mount Baker Highway.

Detectives say the fleeing robbers started shooting at police. The car crashed and there was more gunfire. Police shot both men.

One of them is in critical condition at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham; the other man is being treated for a gunshot wound too.

No officers were hit.

Larson says he won’t be victimized again. He urged other Bellingham business owners to arm themselves and be ready to protect their property.  “We … store owners need to fight against this and get (our) weapons up."

Gloria Larson was just thankful her husband is safe. “Relieved, money doesn’t matter. It won’t bring a life back. I’m just happy he wasn’t hurt,” said Gloria Larson.