Officers shoot 2 suspects after robbery, chase in Bellingham

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Law enforcement officers shot and wounded two men believed to have robbed a Bellingham gas station Thursday evening.

David Larson owns the Shell gas station that was held up. He said he's lucky to be alive after the two gun-wielding men charged into his business just before 6 p.m.

"He popped it and out comes a shell and so I knew it was serious," Larson said. "I knew it wasn't a joke, and I said, okay, and I started for the cash register."

The robbers demanded money, and Larson quickly decided he'd rather lose his money than his life.

"I want them out of here," he said. "Just give them the money, get them out of here, and hopefully they don't shot me."

After grabbing the cash, the men sped away. Officers were soon hot on their heels, and the two led police on a chase up the Mount Baker Highway and exchanged gunfire with pursuing officers.

During the chase, the men fired a shotgun at pursuing officers, who included Bellingham police and Whatcom County sheriff's deputies. No officers were hit during the exchange, according to Bellingham police.

The speeding car eventually crashed near a roundabout. One man reportedly continued firing at arriving officers, who returned fire.

Scared neighbors in the area heard the shootout.

"About ten cops went by, followed by five shots down there. It sounded like five, just bang, bang, bang, bang, bang," one neighbor said.

Both of the men were wounded during the exchange with police. They were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with unknown injuries.