PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SPOKANE POLICE DEPT: A 4 time convicted felon and gang member ditches 3 loaded handguns during short foot pursuit.
On 041213 at about 12:30 in the morning, Spokane Police Officers responded to a call of shots fired from a minivan in the 1200 block of East Joseph. The suspect vehicle fled before Officers arrived and no victims were found in the area.
One hour later at 1:30 a Spokane Police Officer Adam Valdez observed a white minivan driving S/B on Pittsburg from Wellesley, less than 10 blocks away from the shooting. When the Valdez turned around to get a look at the van, the driver took off and made a hard W/B turn not Rich. Officer Valdez turned the corner behind them and saw the vehicle stopped on the side of the road.
He recognized the vehicle license plate as the same vehicle that had eluded him the night before. Valdez had initiated a pursuit of that van but terminated it when the speeds were too fast to continue safely.
This time the male and two females exited the vehicle in the 1600 block of East Rich. The male immediately ran N/B through a driveway and Valdez pursued him on foot. He could see him reaching into the front of his waistband as if accessing a weapon.
Officers are trained from day one at the Academy to watch the hands at all times. It is common for suspects to conceal weapons in their waste bands where they are easily accessible to them. The suspect failed to comply with orders to show his hands and climbed over a fence into the backyard.
Officer Valdez followed the suspect into the back yard and found him hiding behind a shed. Concerned about the suspect being armed based on his actions and the shooting call, Officer Valdez maintained verbal commands with the suspect until more units could find him to assist. The suspect identified himself as 28-year-old Maceo L. Williams and he was placed under arrest on a felony DOC escape warrant.
Officers who responded to assist found a loaded handgun in the driveway by the fence Williams jumped over. They found a second loaded handgun that he dropped or threw on the other side of that fence. Officers checked the area and found a third loaded handgun that Williams threw over the back yard fence where he was hiding. One of those handguns had been reported stolen.
Williams is a confirmed gang member with 4 previous felony convictions for Possession of a Controlled Substance, Riot with a Deadly Weapon, 2nd Degree Assault, and Residential Burglary.
Williams was booked into jail on 3 counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and one count of Possession of a Stolen Firearm, as well as the felony warrant. The van was impounded as evidence. Officers are investigating Williams and the vehicle for a possible connection to the shots fired call on Joseph.
This was an extremely dangerous situation that could have easily ended with shots fired by Williams or Officers. Nothing in law enforcement is routine and situations are often tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving. We want to remind everyone that you will hear Officers ask or order people to show their hands or keep them out of their pockets.
We rarely know exactly who or what we are dealing with when responding to calls so following our directions ensures the safety of us and everyone involved.