A sheriff’s deputy has turned himself in after he allegedly fatally shot and killed a married couple at a home in California, authorities said.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office deputy was off duty when he allegedly committed the double homicide early Wednesday at a Dublin home before fleeing the scene, authorities said. The sheriff’s office said the alleged murder weapon was the deputy’s firearm, which they were working to recover after he dumped it in a rural area.
The sheriff’s office had warned that the suspect – identified as Devin Williams, Jr., 24 – was at large after the shooting, sparking a statewide manhunt, and should be considered armed and dangerous.
At a midday press briefing, Chief Garrett Holmes, Commanding Officer of the Sheriff’s Office and Chief of Dublin City Police Department, announced that Williams had called the office earlier in the morning to surrender and that he had just been arrested near Coalinga, several hours to the south.
“Chief Holmes personally persuaded the suspect to surrender and spent approximately 45 minutes on the phone with him to surrender peacefully,” Alameda County Lt. Ray Kelly told reporters during the briefing.
Kelly said MPs were moving Williams back to Dublin. It is not known if the suspect has an attorney who can speak on his behalf at this time.
Police responded to the home around 12:45 a.m. after a 911 caller reported an intruder “wielding a firearm,” Holmes said. Two people were eventually shot and pronounced dead at the scene, he said.
“It’s a great loss to our community, and it’s even more heartbreaking to find out that it was one of our own who was actually the trigger for this tragic incident,” Holmes said.
Six people were in the house at the time of the shooting, including a child and the two victims, Kelly said. A relative of the family who was visiting at the time is a “key eyewitness”, he said.
The victims were a 42-year-old woman and a 58-year-old man, Kelly said. Authorities have yet to release their names. He said the two had a child together, though he didn’t provide further details.
Kelly said they are investigating a motive for the shooting and the relationship between Williams and the victims.
“There is a connectivity between Mr. Williams and the victims,” he said.
Williams has worked for the sheriff’s office for a year, according to Kelly. Before applying to be a sheriff’s deputy, he was completing a field training officer program in Stockton after graduating from the police academy, Kelly said. Williams failed his probation to become a solo police officer and was fired, he said.
“A lot of those issues that we found had to do with his skills and his ability to do the job effectively,” Kelly said. “They weren’t based on any type of driving. Rather, it was his abilities and skills that didn’t meet the criteria for this job. And so at that point, they let him go. It didn’t is not uncommon.”
Williams was considered a “very good candidate” for law enforcement, said Kelly, who noted the agency was “in shock.”
“Somewhere in the last months of his life, significant events happened that led up to this moment. A lot of those events went undiscovered and undisclosed. And we’re going to look at that,” Kelly said. “I think there are a lot of questions that need to be answered.”