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Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy in Custody After Double Slaying

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A man in a suit stands at a podium in front of a microphone
Alameda County Sherriff's Lieutenant Ray Kelly discusses the arrest of Devin Williams Jr., a deputy, under suspicion of a double homicide in Dublin on Sept. 7, 2022. (Alex Emslie/KQED)

The intense hunt for an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy — the suspect in a bizarre double-slaying in which a husband and wife were shot early Wednesday morning in their home — ended abruptly nearly 12 hours later with a phone call.

Devin Williams Jr., a deputy with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, called authorities after he fled the shooting and said he wanted to turn himself in, officials said.

Police stayed on the phone with him until the off-duty deputy was taken into custody by the California Highway Patrol in a rural area near the Central Valley city of Coalinga, about 160 miles south of the crime scene.

Police had earlier launched a manhunt for Williams, 24, and warned he was considered armed and dangerous.

“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 Dublin Police Chief Garrett Holmes, who is also a commander in the sheriff’s office.

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Authorities said Williams was in a mental health crisis and Holmes personally spent 45 minutes on the phone talking with the deputy to convince him to surrender.

Police were called to a home in the East Bay city of Dublin around 12:45 a.m. The 911 caller said an intruder had come into the home brandishing a gun and shot two people before fleeing in a vehicle, Holmes said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

Witnesses identified the gunman as Williams.

Police said Williams used his service weapon in the shooting and threw it out his car window as he fled. Detectives were still searching for the gun.

Both victims, a 42-year-old woman and a 58-year-old man whose names were not immediately released, were pronounced dead at the scene.

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Williams was hired by the Alameda County sheriff's office last year, after a brief stint with Stockton Police. Officials said he did not pass a field probationary period in Stockton, and was let go by that department.

Williams knew the couple, but investigators were still trying “to fine-tune their connection” and determine the motive, according to Alameda County sheriff’s spokesperson Lt. Ray Kelly.

The sheriff's department says both victims, a man and a woman, died in the residence. They have one child, whom law enforcement believe was at home at the time of the shooting and was not injured. Also in the home was a male relative of the couple who was visiting.

The male relative was unhurt and was talking to detectives about what occurred, Kelly said.

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"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.

Kelly said 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.

“This is a tragedy. We’re all in shock here,” Kelly said.

Wednesday was Williams’ one-year anniversary with the sheriff’s office, and the agency’s investigators were spending it trying to figure out what prompted the violence.

“He grew up in a very affluent home, well-loved, graduated from college with honors, was really a remarkable young person. How we got here today, it will be part of our investigation and something we’re looking at,” Kelly said.

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.

The Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of Alameda County, the union that represents rank-and-file deputies, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dazio reported from Los Angeles. KQED's Alex Emslie contributed to this report. 

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