Phone call led to California deputy’s surrender in slayings

Sep 6, 2022, 10:28 PM | Updated: Sep 7, 2022, 4:55 pm

ADDS THAT WILLIAMS TURNED HIMSELF IN - This undated photo provided by the Alameda County, Calif., Sheriff's Office shows Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy Devin Williams Jr. Authorities said, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, that Williams has turned himself in to law enforcement after he was accused in the fatal slaying of a husband and wife in their home. (Alameda County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Alameda County Sheriff's Office via AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When the phone rang inside a Northern California police station around midday Wednesday, the homicide suspect — an off-duty sheriff’s deputy accused in a shocking double-slaying — was on the line.

But the detectives working the case were all out in the field, part of a desperate 12-hour manhunt to find Devin Williams Jr. So the police chief grabbed the phone.

“The secretary says ‘hey, Mr. Williams is calling and wants to speak to somebody here,’ ” Lt. Ray Kelly, a spokesperson with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, told The Associated Press.

Williams was wanted in connection with the fatal shootings of a husband and wife in their Dublin, California, home around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday — less than two hours after the rookie deputy had finished an overtime shift at the county jail.

Williams, 24, fled Northern California after he allegedly barged into the couple’s home and shot them with his service weapon while their child and three other people were inside. A manhunt immediately began after a witness — the couple’s relative — called 911, with police describing him as armed and dangerous.

He’d made it 160 miles (258 kilometers) south of the East Bay crime scene to the Central Valley — a remote, desolate area off Interstate 5 near the city of Coalinga where temperatures had reached triple digits — before making a pivotal decision.

“I think his call to us was an indicator that he wanted help, that he had gotten himself way beyond his thinking, his emotions, and that he needed help,” Kelly said. “I think that phone call was a call for help.”

Williams’ call came into the police department’s business line just as Dublin Police Chief Garrett Holmes and Kelly were about to go in front of the cameras for a news conference.

Kelly, along with a crisis negotiator who later arrived, scribbled and passed hand-written notes to Holmes throughout the 45-minute conversation. They worked to find a place for Williams, now in the middle of a mental health crisis, to surrender peacefully without harming himself or any California Highway Patrol officers there to take him into custody. At some point, he had tossed his gun out the car window.

“We don’t need any more people dying today,” Kelly said.

The slain couple’s names have not yet been released. They were only identified as a 42-year-old woman and a 58-year-old man after officials pronounced them dead at the scene.

Williams knew the couple, but investigators are still working to “to fine-tune their connection” and determine the motive, Kelly said. Detectives are looking into, among other things, the possibility of a romantic relationship or an extramarital affair.

“This was not a random crime,” Kelly said. “This is a very bizarre chain of events that unfolded.”

Kelly said Williams went through “some significant events” in his life in the last few months that led to the killings but did not specify what had happened.

“A lot of those events went undiscovered and undisclosed and we’re going to be looking into that. There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered,” he said.

The violence left the law enforcement agencies stunned. Williams had been with the sheriff’s office since September 2021 and was still on probation. He had been assigned to the Oakland courthouse, and there were no concerns about his job performance.

“It’s a great loss for our community and it’s even more disheartening to find out that it was one of our own that was the trigger-person behind this tragic incident,” said Holmes, the Dublin chief who is also a commander in the sheriff’s office.

Williams, who is from Stockton, briefly worked with the Stockton Police Department, where he completed their police academy but was ultimately let go after he failed their field training program, Kelly said.

Stockton Police spokesperson Officer Joseph Silva said he could not discuss why Williams left the department because it is a “personnel matter.” He confirmed Williams worked for the Stockton Police Department from January 2020 to January 2021.

But Wednesday was Williams’ one-year anniversary with the sheriff’s department.

“How did he get there and where were the red flags and how did we not see them?” Kelly said. “How did he get to this point of violence?”


Dazio reported from Los Angeles.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Eviation's "Alice", the world's first all-electric commuter airplane, takes off for its first fligh...
Associated Press

Prototype electric airplane takes first flight

A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state.
16 hours ago
President Joe Biden talks to people after speaking during an event on health care costs, in the Ros...
Associated Press

Biden keeps US target for refugee admissions at 125,000

SAN DIEGO (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday formally kept the nation’s cap on refugee admissions at 125,000 for the 2023 budget year, despite pressure from refugee advocates to raise it even higher to meet the need after falling far short of that target this year. Refugees advocates had been pushing the Biden administration […]
16 hours ago
First lady Jill Biden speaks during an event for the Class of 2022 National Student Poets at the Wh...
Associated Press

Jill Biden hosts White House reading for student poets

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden on Tuesday hosted a reading by this year’s group of National Student Poets, allowing each one to read their winning work in a White House room set up to mimic a coffee house. The first lady said she herself has turned to poetry to find joy in other people’s words […]
16 hours ago
Billy Eichner poses for a portrait at the Crosby Street Hotel to promote his film "Bros" on Monday,...
Associated Press

Billy Eichner made a great rom-com. Now its audiences’ turn.

NEW YORK (AP) — At the Toronto International Film Festival world premiere of “Bros,” Billy Eichner exhorted the crowd to keep cheering. “Keep it going!” implored Eichner. “I want a longer ovation than ‘The Whale! ‘” In the whistle-stop lead-up to the release of “Bros,” Eichner has worked tirelessly to whip audiences into a frenzy […]
16 hours ago
Attorney General Merrick Garland, left, listens as Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator An...
Associated Press

DEA: Fake pills containing fentanyl helping drive OD deaths

WASHINGTON (AP) — An increasing number of fake prescription pills that contain potentially deadly fentanyl are helping drive overdose death rates to record levels in the U.S., including some now manufactured in rainbow colors designed to look like candy, federal officials said Tuesday. Drug Enforcement Administration agents are working to crack down on violent drug […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Sen. Alan Clark, R-Lonsdale, speaks during a news conference at the Arkansas state Capitol i...
Associated Press

Arkansas senator suspended over filing frivolous complaint

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas state senator won’t have access to Senate offices and can’t participate in legislative meetings after the Senate on Tuesday ruled he made a frivolous ethics complaint against a fellow lawmaker in retaliation for sanctions he received earlier this year. By a 26-4 vote, the majority-Republican Senate approved its […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Phone call led to California deputy’s surrender in slayings