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Man fatally shot by Bellingham police officer identified; videos released

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Bellingham police officer points gun at knife-wielding man on Sunday. (Photo: Screengrab from police body cam video)

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The suspect in a stabbing who was fatally shot by a Bellingham police officer was identified Thursday as Manuel Gonzalez, 28.

Police said that Gonzalez stabbed and wounded a 20-year-old man in the neck during an altercation in the 100 block of E. Holly Street on Sunday and then fled on foot. Witnesses chased him and caught up to him in the 1400 block of Railroad Avenue, police said.

Police said that officer Jeremiah Leland came to the scene and ordered Gonzalez to drop his knife. Police said Gonzalez failed to drop the knife and advanced toward Leland, prompting Leland to shoot him. Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Bellingham Herald reported that an initial autopsy of Gonzalez determined he bled to death from a gunshot wound to the neck.


Police said Gonzalez had a history of minor criminal offenses.

The 20-year-old man who was stabbed remains in serious condition at a local hospital.

Leland has been an officer with the Bellingham Police Department for three years, police said.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department is leading the investigation into the shooting.

The city of Bellingham released videos of the stabbing (taken by a citizen) and of the shooting (police body cam).

WARNING: Both of these videos contain graphic violence; the shooting is extremely graphic.