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News / Northwest

Bellingham police arrest 2 in homeless camp shooting death

By Robert Mittendorf, The Bellingham Herald
Published: May 7, 2024, 8:56pm

BELLINGHAM — Bellingham police have arrested two suspects in the April shooting death of a man at a homeless encampment in north Bellingham.

Coleen L. Clark and Gale R. Jefferson were wanted on suspicion of first-degree homicide in connection with the death of 30-year-old Zachariah Janusiewicz, who was slain in the early hours of April 15 at a homeless camp near Walmart.

Few details were immediately available, but Bellingham police said on social media that the suspects had been arrested barely an hour after posting their names and photos online Tuesday afternoon.

“Both are now in custody. An update will be provided when details are available,” police said online.

Authorities responded to several 911 calls about gunfire in the area just after 3 a.m. April 15 and found a group of people pushing Janusiewicz in a shopping cart with several gunshot wounds to his torso, according to previous Bellingham Herald reporting.

Bellingham police officers administered first aid to Janusiewicz and Bellingham firefighters took him by ambulance to St. Joseph Medical Center, where he died.

The Whatcom County medical examiner has ruled his death a homicide.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Clark, 35, and Jefferson, 33, are frequent companions and have been arrested previously on robbery and assault charges.

Investigators identified Jefferson through mobile phone records and messages found at the scene, court documents say.

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