As the scene erupted outside his room at the Villa Inn, Thad Kelly grabbed his camera and started taking pictures.
"I heard a large bang. Then, bang, bang, and that's when I got off the bed and came to window," Kelly said.
Investigators say they arrived at the motel to serve a mental health pick-up order when the 54-year-old man started firing a shotgun at officers.
"It just seemed like the guy had a big negative thing when they came to the door, and that was it. That's not good," Kelly said.
Police returned fire, wounding the man. Officers haven't said what started the shooting, and no bystanders or police were hurt.
Beyond the yellow tape, curious onlookers and motel guests could see a blown out window, and evidence of a man who wasn't giving up easily.
"I figured there was one shotgun. Maybe 6 to 8 pistol shots. There may have been another shotgun shell in the middle of the bang, bang, bang, bang, bang," Kelly added.
Residents say violence is rare in Bellingham, but they're unnerved by what seems like a recent uptick in bad behavior.
The suspect's name and condition have not been released.