The Bellingham man accused of fatally shooting his wife and their pets in their home west of Bellingham on Dec. 26 has been formally arrested, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Kevin Ralph Heimsoth, 56, was formally arrested Jan. 10 on a warrant, but he has not yet been booked into the Whatcom County Jail because he remains hospitalized in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Heimsoth suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was in satisfactory condition as of Friday, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Heimsoth was released on his personal recognizance on a court order last week after it was determined he could not leave the hospital and be transferred into the custody of the sheriff’s office, Whatcom County Undersheriff Doug Chadwick said. If his condition improves, the court order directs hospital staff to notify the sheriff’s office and Heimsoth’s attorney if there is any “meaningful change in his condition,” Chadwick said.

If or when Heimsoth’s condition improves, the sheriff’s office would work with the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office to have him taken into custody and appear for future court proceedings, Chadwick said.

The prosecutor’s office formally charged Heimsoth on Jan. 3 with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree animal cruelty (a felony). The charging documents also include an additional penalty for committing the alleged murder with a firearm, according to Whatcom County Superior Court records.

Heimsoth is suspected of fatally shooting his wife, 58-year-old Lynn Heimsoth, who was the principal at Sunnyland Elementary School since July 2017. Lynn Heimsoth’s therapy dog, Sukha — who attended school with her — and a cat were also found fatally shot in their home in the 900 block of Marine Drive.