Officers later arrested the suspect following a short foot chase when he returned to the stabbing scene, covered in mud and blood.
Police first learned of the double stabbing at about 2:15 a.m. Saturday when they were called to St. Joseph Medical Center, where the two victims were brought by a private vehicle, said Mark Young of the Bellingham police.
Witnesses who brought the victims to the hospital told officers that the stabbings had occurred around the area of Samish Way and Fielding Avenue, and they provided a description of the suspect.
The officers then went to a home in the 500 block of Samish Way, where there had been a party the evening before.
As the officers were interviewing two of the residents, the suspect opened the door and walked in. He was covered in mud and had what appeared to be blood on his clothing, Young said.
When the suspect saw the officers, he ran from the house. He was caught a short time later, following a brief foot chase. After he was positively identified by several witnesses, the suspect was placed under arrest. He was later identified as Geoff K. Spain, 21.
One of the victims, a 17-year-old Whatcom County resident, died of his injuries. His name has not been released pending notification of his family.
The second stabbing victim, an 18-year-old Whatcom County man, received non-life-threatening wounds to his face. He was treated and released from the hospital.
The crime scene, at Samish Way and Fielding Avenue, was closed for several hours while police conducted their investigation. A knife believed to be the murder weapon was found at the scene and has been impounded, Young said.
Spain was booked into the Whatcom County Jail for investigation of 2nd-degree murder.
Bellingham police detectives are asking anyone with information about the stabbings to contact Detective Dan Kelsh at (360) 778-8800.