Two deputies shot, injured responding to dispute between neighbors

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Two Whatcom County deputies were shot and injured Thursday evening after responding to a dispute between two neighbors in the Peaceful Valley area of Whatcom County, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a news release, Joel B. Young, 60, of Maple Falls, was home drinking around 3 p.m. when his neighbor started to burn a pile of garbage.

According to Young, his home filled with smoke, which enraged him.

Young went outside and yelled at his neighbor to put out the fire.

Young’s neighbor told him to “F*** off,” which further enraged Young.

Young went back inside his house and retrieved a shotgun, loaded it with birdshot, and fired a round into the air toward the neighbor.

Young went back inside to have another beer.

Around 4:17 p.m., 911 was called and two deputies arrived at the scene around 4:40 p.m.

The deputies crouched by a neighbor’s garage and yelled for Young to, “Drop the gun.”

Young went outside, yelled at the deputies and fired his shotgun at one of them, hitting him in the head and dropping him to the ground.

The second deputy stepped forward and returned fire.

Young shot again, striking the second deputy.

An unknown person stepped forward and fired multiple handgun rounds at Young to protect the deputies.

The deputies were pulled to safety in a garage, where they were provided first aid until more deputies could arrive.

More deputies and members of the Whatcom County SWAT team arrived, and surrounded Young’s home at 6:06 p.m.

Young came out of the house and surrendered without further incident.

Young was arrested for two counts of attempted murder and is currently booked into the Skagit County jail.

The two deputies were transported to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, where they both remain hospitalized, and are both in stable condition from the gunshot wounds to their heads.