Teenager arrested with gun after confrontation at Bellingham High School graduation

A 17-year-old boy was arrested with a loaded pistol at a Bellingham Public Schools graduation ceremony on Saturday after a confrontation that included a threat to shoot another boy’s father, police said.

A Bellingham police officer accosted the boy as he searched for a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol tucked in his belt, Lt. Claudia Murphy told the Bellingham Herald in an email.

“Officers were able to retrieve a gun from the 17-year-old’s pants as it had slipped from its original position from the waistband to the knee,” Murphy said.

No injuries were reported.

Neither the boy nor the victim were identified in the statement, and it was unclear whether the suspect was a student.

School officials did not immediately return an email from the Herald Sunday night, and nothing about the incident has been posted on the district’s website.

Murphy said the boy was taken into custody on suspicion of stalking, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon capable of causing bodily harm, obstructing a law enforcement officer and possession of a dangerous weapon in school facilities.

Police included a photo of the gun, a Polymer 80, with a 16-round Glock magazine and 15 9mm rounds.

Saturday’s incident happened around 8:20 p.m., at Civic Stadium, after the last of four Bellingham High School graduations held that day, according to an email from Murphy and an online police log.

It happened in a crowded yard at the Civic Athletic Complex stadium on Lakeway Drive, Murphy said.

Two officers had been assigned to Bellingham, Sehome, Squalicum and Options high school graduation ceremonies. The options graduation was at 7 p.m. Saturday, according to the school’s website.

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