Man shoots himself after traffic stop on South Whidbey

A 55-year-old Freeland man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday after being pulled over by police on Bush Point Road for driving erratically.

A Washington State Patrol trooper heard a single gunshot as he approached the 1997 Lincoln after making the stop near Dolphin Drive, State Patrol Det. Scott Witman said.

An Island County Fire District 3 vehicle also responded, and firefighters administered aid, but the man was declared dead at the scene.

The man was alone in the car, where a handgun was found, Witman said.

The incident began when the fire crew, returning to station, noticed the man driving erratically northbound on Highway 525 near Bayview, said Fire District 3 Deputy Chief Mike Cotton.

Firefighters called the emergency law enforcement line and continued to follow the car until a State Patrol vehicle and a sheriff's patrol car responded.

They stopped the car on Bush Point Road, where the shooting occurred. The doors of the car were locked, and officers had to break a rear window to gain entry, Witman said.

The man's name was being withheld until next of kin can be notified, Witman said.

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