Crime

Man kills father, stabs mother, niece in Bellingham area

A son stabbed his parents and his niece inside their Tweed Twenty home Tuesday morning, Dec. 28, killing his father and injuring the other two, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.

Per Olaf Johannson, 32, was arrested about a block away from the home at 1444 Lahti Drive where the stabbings occurred, Sheriff Bill Elfo said.

Raymond Johannson, 68, was taken to St. Joseph hospital with critical stab wounds and died there, Elfo said. Johannson’s wife, Loretta, 64, was in stable condition Tuesday at the hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The 13-year-old niece, who made the 911 call at 6:15 a.m. to report the stabbings, suffered only minor injuries, Elfo said. Her name has not been released.

When deputies arrived at the home minutes after the call, both grandparents were alive and talking.

A Bellingham Police dog was brought in to help track Per Johannson because he had run from the house after the stabbing. About 30 minutes after the 911 call, he was found about a block away in a yard, suffering from what appeared to be self-inflicted stab wounds, Elfo said.

Neighbors said Per was detained without incident and was taken on a stretcher into an aid car. He was in stable condition Tuesday at St. Joseph hospital.

Per lived with his parents in the home, Elfo said. Investigators were not immediately sure if the girl also lived there or was just visiting.

Deputies found an 8-inch kitchen knife inside the home that they believe was used in the stabbings, Elfo said.

Per Johansson has an extensive criminal history, including weapons charges, violation of a domestic violence protection order and a September arrest on suspicion of dealing marijuana.

Katee Wowk, a neighbor who lives across the street, said Raymond Johansson had told her that Per suffers from mental illness. She did not know what his illness is.

Wowk said Per was known in the neighborhood because he was frequently seen walking his dog around. She said he was always dressed in dark clothing and walked in a hunched-over manner.

“He was odd, very odd,” Wowk said. “We didn’t go out of our way to talk to him. Always black. Everything about him was black.”Wowk said she has lived in the neighborhood for 24 years and never knew of any violent incidents.

“You hear on the news all the time and you think, oh, my neighborhood is so safe,” Wowk said. “This is such a quiet neighborhood. Everybody knows everybody.”

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