DUBLIN, Calif. (KRON) – An Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy went on the run for 12 hours after he allegedly shot two people today in the East Bay, according to Dublin police.
A manhunt for Deputy Devin Williams Jr. began early this morning following a double homicide in Dublin. Police said the 24-year-old deputy broke into a family’s home and murdered a husband and wife.
The manhunt ended when Williams called law enforcement to turn himself in just before noon. Officers were able to keep the deputy on the phone and trace his cellphone’s location to Coalinga, Calif., 160 miles away.
“We received a call from the suspect and he wanted to turn himself in. We were able to keep him on the phone line and direct CHP units to the area of Coalinga and take the suspect safely into custody,” Dublin Police Chief Garrett Holmes told reporters.
Holmes spoke directly with Williams over the phone and convinced him to surrender without hurting himself or anyone else. The deputy disarmed himself of a firearm when California Highway Patrol officers found him and took him into custody.
A man and his 42-year-old wife were shot inside their home on Colebrook Lane in Dublin early Wednesday morning. “An intruder came into the house brandishing a firearm, and ultimately fired that firearm … killing two people. It’s even more disheartening that it was one of our own who was actually the trigger person,” Holmes said.
Williams knew the victims, Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Kelly said.
A third person who was inside the victims’ home called 911 at 12:45 a.m. to alert emergency dispatchers of the shooting, Holmes said. The 911 caller reported that the killer fled in a vehicle. The homicide victims died at the crime scene.
A witness at the scene told Dublin Police Department officers that Williams was the killer.
Police officers quickly realized that Williams worked as a deputy for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, which is headquartered in Dublin. Law enforcement agencies across California were placed on high-alert and mobilized to find the wanted deputy.
While he was at-large, the deputy was considered “armed and dangerous,” police said.
“This was a very bizarre chain of events. Our agency is in shock. This is not what we’re about. We had no idea that this could happen. Mr. Williams grew up in a very affluent home, was well loved, graduated from college with honors. He was really a remarkable young person. How we got here today … it will be something we will be looking at,” Kelly said.
Williams lives in Stockton. It’s unclear why he fled 160 miles south, from the East Bay to Fresno County, before he decided to turn himself in. The homicide victims’ identities have not yet been released. Kelly said the slain couple is survived by their teenaged son.
Chief Holmes’ voice shook as he told reporters about convincing Williams to surrender. Holmes worked for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for nearly three decades before he became Dublin’s police chief.
Kelly explained to reporters, “You can hear the emotion in Chief Holmes’ voice. Chief Holmes personally talked the suspect into surrendering. He was able to bring this to a peaceful resolution. This has been a very difficult day for him and our department.”
Investigators are now trying to piece together a motive behind the killings.
“Where we stand now is this is an active double homicide investigation. There was a third person present in the home at the time of the double homicide. That person is safe and a key eyewitness,” Kelly said.
Police said Williams will be booked into Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County on homicide charges Wednesday evening. Williams worked in the same jail as a guard less than 24 hours ago. Investigators said the deputy had just finished working a night shift at the jail when he went to the victims’ home with a gun.
Mayor Melissa Hernandez wrote, “I am heartbroken over the tragedy that occurred in Dublin early this morning. There is now a child without a mother and father. Dublin police are working with the family to see how they can help throughout the grieving process. I’d like to credit Chief Holmes for his ability to negotiate a peaceful surrender of the suspect.”