Daughter hit by stray bullet at Father’s Day barbecue near Ferndale

FERNDALE — A 23-year-old woman at a barbecue for her dad on Father’s Day was hit in the chest by a stray bullet from people shooting more than a half mile away.

A resident called 911 in the late afternoon Sunday, June 16, to report bullets whizzing overhead during a family cookout on Gadwa Road, just west of the Nooksack River, said Whatcom County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Moyes. Moments later the man called back saying his daughter had been hit in the chest.

She was taken to St. Joseph hospital with critical injuries from a single bullet wound.

Sheriff’s deputies heard more gunfire echoing on the other side of the river. They traced the shots to a group of five people a little more than a half mile to the east. All of them were detained and interviewed. They had been shooting handguns and high-powered rifles near the riverbank, in the direction of the house on Gadwa, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies continue to investigate “the unsafe manner in which the bullets were flying towards the victim’s residence,” Moyes said. For now, none of the shooters have been arrested or charged with a crime.