Help sought as police investigate Monday’s fatal shooting at Lake Padden

A Whatcom man died of a gunshot wound at Lake Padden Park near the east entrance around 6:57 p.m. Monday.

The victim, 37-year-old Isaac Ruiz from Mount Vernon, died from a gunshot wound to the neck, according to Deborah Hollis with the Whatcom County Medical Examiner.

Bellingham Police are investigating the motive for the shooting and are asking the public for help with gathering evidence such as photos or videos taken at the time of the shooting. People can contact police at or by calling the tipline at 360-778-8611 or 360-778-8791.

Officers arrived to find witnesses providing first aid to the victim.

Several people at the popular Bellingham park contacted The Herald to report they were forced to leave or their cars were blocked in by emergency vehicles.

The lake was closed from the time of the shooting, around 7 p.m. Monday, to Tuesday morning. The nearby golf course was also cleared as a result.