Bellingham, WA – A Bellingham area elementary school principal was found murdered in her Bellingham Condo along with her therapy dog and a family cat on December 26th, 2019. Police say the woman’s husband appears to have shot the woman and then turned the gun on himself in an attempted murder-suicide. Police say it appears the man apparently confessed to the murder of the woman and the killing of her pets in a series of disturbing tweets posted on the social media platform, Twitter.
The woman murdered has been identified by police as 58-year old Lynn Heimsoth, the Principal of Sunnyland Elementary in Bellingham. Previously, Heimsoth was the principal at Shoultes Elementary in Marysville. She has also worked in Bremerton, North Kitsap, and South Kitsap School Districts as an elementary teacher and educator.
Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Chartwell Estates Condominiums in the 900 block of Marine Drive around 10:28 a.m. on December 26th, 2019 for reports of a murder-suicide. Deputies found Lynn Heimsoth dead inside her condo from an apparent gunshot wound. Her 56-year old husband, later identified as Kevin Heimsoth, was also found inside the condo with a self-inflicted gunshot wound but he was still alive. He was transported to St. Joes Hospital in Bellingham where he remained under police guard before he was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he remains under police guard. Sheriff’s Deputies also located Heimsoth’s therapy dog and a cat both dead from gunshot wounds inside the condo.
Detectives Investigating the murder officially named Kevin Heimsoth as the suspected shooter. Lynn Heimsoth’s cause of death was declared a “handgun gunshot wound to the head” and her death was officially ruled a homicide by the Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s Office.
During the course of the investigation, Detectives uncovered a series of chilling tweets from Kevin Heimsoth’s Twitter Account that appear to be a confession to the killings. In a reply to the National Rifle Association (NRA), the President of the United States of America and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kevin Heimsoth tweeted a series of misspelled tweets that said, “Guns don’t kill people, people do. Guns just make it a lot easier. AR-15 makes it super easy. I jsit killed my whole family, and I couldn’t have done it without a gun! I’m too much of a coward, a knife would have been waaay too hard. So, thanks to everyone at the NRA.” In a follow up reply to the NRA, Kevin wrote “Moscow Mitch and everyone else for making this possible. Some should call for a welfare check at 909 Marine Dr, #120 in Bellimhgam, Wa. Lots of blood….thoe dog was the hardest. 🙁
Kevin Heimsoth has been charged with First-Degree Murder and two Counts of First-Degree Animal Cruelty.
In a message from Bellingham Public School Superintendent Greg Baker wrote:
Dear Sunnyland families,
I am sorry to share news of a tragedy within our Bellingham Public Schools family. We have learned that Sunnyland Principal Lynn Heimsoth was found dead at her home this morning.
We are heartbroken by this news. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputies are actively investigating the incident. They have informed us that the public is not in any danger and a suspect has been taken into custody. Her therapy dog Sukha, who was always by Lynn’s side, was also killed.
Her death is a profound loss to our Sunnyland community, our school district and to our extended community. Lynn was a passionate, equity-driven instructional leader. She loved kids to the core and always kept students’ needs at the center of her work. She had been principal at Sunnyland since fall 2017. Prior to coming to Sunnyland, she was the principal of Shoultes Elementary in Marysville and worked for Bremerton, North Kitsap and South Kitsap school districts as an elementary teacher and instructional leader.
Members of our district’s counseling and support team will be available for students at Sunnyland Elementary on Monday, Jan. 6 when we return after winter break.
You may access the following resources if you choose to talk with your children about this tragedy:
If you would like to talk with someone, you can contact Sunnyland Dean Amy Berreth or Executive Director Kristi Dominguez and Director Trina Hall, who are with the Department of Teaching and Learning and members of our mobile response team. They can offer resources if needed.
Our thoughts and support are with Lynn’s family and friends during this very hard time, as well as our Sunnyland families and all colleagues affected. No details are available at this time about potential memorial services.
We will deeply miss her.
A Celebration of Life was held at Noon on January 4th, 2019 at the Bellingham High School Performing Arts Center in Bellingham.