Bellingham, Wash. – Bellingham police have released the name of the Whatcom County teen who was fatally stabbed in the chest on Samish Way early Saturday morning, Feb. 9.
Davonte R. Thompson, a 17-year-old Whatcom County resident, died while receiving treatment for stab wounds to the chest at Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center on Saturday.
Officers were called to the hospital at about 2:15 a.m. Saturday to investigate after two teens with stab wounds - Thompson and an 18-year-old Whatcom County man - were brought to the ER in a private vehicle, according to Bellingham police.
Police later arrested Geoff K. Spain, 21, on suspicion of stabbing the two teens as a Friday-night party was winding down in the 500 block of Samish Way early Saturday, Feb. 9, according to a City of Bellingham press release.
Spain was booked into Whatcom County Jail for investigation of second-degree murder and first-degree assault. Spain is scheduled to make his first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court at 3 p.m Monday, Feb. 11, according to the press release.
The second stabbing victim received non-life-threatening wounds to his face and left the hospital Saturday morning, according to the release. Neither victim was a Western Washington University student, said Bellingham Police spokesman Mark Young.
Frimann Sigfusson, 21, witnessed the incident that led to Thompson’s death while he was waiting outside for someone to pick him up, he said. Sigfusson had been drinking heavily, but remembers several details leading up to the stabbing, he said.
“Bits and pieces of the night keep coming back,” Sigfusson said.
Sigfusson was a guest at the party in the 500 block of Samish Way Friday night, Feb. 8. The party was at a house Spain shares with other people. Thompson was also at the party, although Sigfusson said he never met Thompson or Spain.
The stabbing happened at the end of the house’s driveway near a stop sign, Sigfusson said.
One of the party’s hosts, Alex Garcia, also said the incident occurred at the edge of the driveway, although he did not witness either stabbing.
Garcia had never seen either of the victims before the incident and did not see them at the party, he said. The party had ended and most people had left when the incident happened, he said.
“The incidents that occurred were completely unassociated with the party and off our property,” Garcia said.
Spain had been standing at the edge of the driveway when a car drove up to the stop sign, Sigfusson said. People in the car were yelling at Spain, but Sigfusson could not make out what they were saying, he said.
“I don’t know what they were saying, what triggered it,” Sigfusson said. “I was trying to figure out what they were saying, and it didn’t make any sense because they were yelling at me too.”
Spain ran up to the car, then people started to get out, Sigfusson said. One man yelled that Spain had a knife, Sigfusson said.
“Then just a ton of people - it’s so hard to remember, but there were a ton of people - ran up in the middle of this brawl,” Sigfusson said. “There were multiple people fighting. I remember seeing Davonte [Thompson] get stabbed and then when he got stabbed the blood went everywhere, like on the ground, and he took off running and people were still fighting.”
Thompson ran about 20 feet down Samish Way, south of the house where the party had been, before he fell to the ground, Sigfusson said.
Sigfusson did not find out until later that a second person had been stabbed, he said.
“There were at least 10 people in one group when it happened,” Sigfusson said. “I started running up on them to stop it, but it happened so fast I couldn’t do anything about it,” Sigfusson said.
Sometime after Sigfusson assumes the second victim was stabbed, the car picked up Thompson and drove off, Sigfusson said.
Garcia extended his condolences to the families of the victims. Garcia, a Western Washington University senior, said he has known Spain since high school and has no idea what caused the incident.
“I don’t think anyone thought anything like that could ever happen,” Garcia said.
Police blocked off the area near the house for several hours Saturday while they conducted their investigation. A knife believed to be the murder weapon was located at the scene and has been impounded, according to the release.
According to a Facebook event page for the party, Spain was one of five hosts. More than 300 people were invited to the event and about 50 people confirmed they would go.
As the officers were interviewing two of the residents at the house Saturday, Spain opened the door and walked in, covered in mud and what appeared to be blood, according to the release. When Spain saw the officers, he ran from the house, according to the release. Following a brief foot chase, he was detained.
Sigfusson said he heard about Spain acting strangely earlier that night.
“I guess that Geoff [Spain] had been angry that night about something,” Sigfusson said. “I’m not sure if he was drunk, I can only assume that he probably was, so that combination... he did something really stupid.”
Police are looking into whether or not substances were involved in the incident.
“Alcohol is believed to be a factor, but we are not sure if drugs were a factor,” Young said.
Police do not know what prompted the stabbing, Young said.
Anyone with information about the stabbing should contact Detective Dan Kelsh at (360) 778-8800.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.