BLAINE, Wash. – A high-speed chase that ended in gunfire closed the U.S.-Canadian border crossing near here for hours Tuesday, authorities said. Two men sought in a California homicide were arrested after one of them was shot and wounded.
The crossing is one of the busiest on the U.S. northern border. Traffic was diverted to the Pacific Highway crossing about a mile to the east as police investigated.
An unspecified number of Canadian border agents, who are unarmed, left their posts during the incident because they were concerned about their safety, said Paula Shore, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency. Managers took over and security was not compromised, she said.
Earlier, the Whatcom County sheriff's office had received a tip that two men sought in the California case could be headed to the area, Sheriff Bill Elfo said.
A car carrying two men matching the description was seen about six miles south of the border on Interstate 5. When a sheriff's deputy tried to stop the car, the occupants sped off, reaching speeds of 100 mph, Elfo said.
The chase ended just a few feet from the border when a deputy blocked the suspects' car with his squad car, Elfo said. One man bolted, but authorities quickly caught him.
Lt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond, Calif., police confirmed that Ishtiaq Hussain, 38, and Jose Antonio Barajas, 22, were arrested after approaching the border and failing to stop. He also confirmed that Hussain had been shot and wounded. His medical condition was not available Tuesday evening.
Authorities in Richmond, Calif., were working to extradite the suspects. Both were sought in the Saturday shooting death of a 43-year-old man there.