Man kills girl and self in Whatcom County shooting



Posted on January 7, 2010 at 7:29 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 7 at 11:17 PM

Whatcom County shooting

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MAPLE FALLS, Wash. – A 14-year-old girl and her mother's live-in boyfriend are dead after an apparent murder-suicide in Whatcom County early Thursday morning. The accused killer is a Whatcom County planning commissioner.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said a 911 call came in at 3:19 a.m. in the Paradise Valley area at the home of a woman, her teenage daughter and the woman's 41-year-old boyfriend Sean D. Wilson, a member of the Whatcom Co. Planning Commission.

"We received a call from a neighbor. The mother of the girl had run from the home and ran to a neighbor's house for assistance," said Elfo. "The neighbors called 911 and deputies dispatched out there."

Deputies found the girl, Felicity Boonstra, dead at the scene. Initial evidence indicates the man was the shooter, said Elfo. Wilson allegedly shot the teen, his girlfriend and then himself.

Just minutes before the shooting, Felicity wrote on her Facebook page. Here is an excerpt of what she wrote:

"my qarents are yelling and fighting this is the third night in a rowthat they've woken me uq but tonight. they got me into it and I can't call shean broke the qhone and diconected the internetbut I reconected it. I just want to leave this house and be with my dad. but Ican't becauseit's 3in the morning."

The mother is identified as Rebecca Boonstra. She suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound and was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital in Bellingham for treatment. She was last listed in satisfactory condition.

Elfo said this isn't the first time police have been to the home, about 30 miles northeast of Bellingham. They made at least one visit on a domestic violence call in March 2008. Detectives are still investigating what led up to the shooting.

"Well, a decent man took the life of an innocent and took his own life today in a moment of blinding pain" said neighbor Bill Bazanson. "She's an innocent. She's 14-years-old. A beautiful little girl."

Felicity Boonstra

News of the murder quickly spread around Felicity's school, Mount Baker Junior High.

"I kind of lost it a little bit and so my mom came and picked be up because I couldn't go through the day. It was really rough sitting through the beginning of classes," said Felicity's classmate, Ricky Partlow.

"She was always happy and bubbly and she could turn the most negative situation upside down and find the light in it," said Partlow. "She's a one-of-a-kind person."

The school brought in counselors to help grieving classmates.

"It's such a tragedy. Each one of our students, we feel like they are our own children and so staff is devastated and kids are very, very upset," said Rick Gantman, Mount Baker School District.

"Who in their right mind would want to kill a 14-year-old girl who's done nothing but good in her life?" said neighbor Geoffrey Pitner.

Who was Sean Wilson?

"He was a smart guy. Worked hard," said Ken Mann, who worked with Wilson on the planning commission. "When you realize it's someone that you know and that you've worked alongside, it's even more shocking and, it's no more of a tragedy, but it just hits you so deeply."

In 2002 during divorce proceedings, Wilson's estranged wife took out a protection order against him, saying she feared for her safety and that of her daughter.

More recently, acquaintances say Wilson had been drinking a lot and was under stress.

"He had been laid off and was working just as a stay-at-home dad," said Munn.

There are many resources for victims of Domestic Violence. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24-hours a day toll-free at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233). You can also contact the Eastside Domestic Violence Program at (425) 746-1940 or toll-free at 1-800-827-8840.