One man beaten by others, reacted by shooting a gun; no injuries life-threatening

WHATCOM ­— An early-morning party Saturday, Aug. 10, on West Pole Road turned into violence including physical assault  and gunshots, the county Sheriff’s Department reported.

A media email from chief deputy Kevin Hester gave this account:  

Shortly after 3 a.m. on Saturday, deputies responded to reports of a shooting at a house party in the 300 block of West Pole south of Lynden. Neighbors claimed that 20-30 people were fighting and shooting at each other, and that a white Honda-type car had sped away from the scene.

A short time later, deputies found a white Honda had crashed in the roundabout at Guide Meridian and Ten Mile roads. Several people were in the car, including a male in his 20s with a gunshot wound to one of his legs. That subject was transported to the hospital for treatment of the wound, which was not considered life-threatening.

Other deputies, with assistance from Ferndale and Lynden police and Washington State Patrol troopers, responded to a residence in the 300 block of West Pole where a birthday party had occurred. Numerous people were there, and many fled when law enforcement arrived. Deputies located a male in his 20 or 30s with significant head and facial injuries.

Witnesses reported that the injured man had been assaulted by several other people with fists and sticks. He then pulled out a small-caliber handgun in an attempt to stop the assault and fired several rounds, possibly striking at least one person. The injured male at the house was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph hospital for treatment of significant head injuries.

The investigation was ongoing Saturday and further information or names of those involved was still to be released. Detectives were interviewing numerous witnesses and crime scene investigators were processing the scene of the party looking for evidence.