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An off-duty California sheriff's deputy surrendered after he fatally shot a married couple, authorities say

“Our agency is in shock,” an official said. "We had no idea that this could happen.”
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ALAMEDA, Calif. — A sheriff’s deputy was taken into custody Wednesday after he fatally shot a married couple, authorities said, prompting a manhunt across suburban Northern California and a nearly hourlong phone conversation that ended with his surrender, officials said.

Devin Williams Jr., 24, is accused of shooting the woman, 42, and her husband, 58, with his service weapon inside their home early Wednesday in Dublin, roughly 25 miles southeast of Oakland, an Alameda County sheriff’s spokesman, Lt. Ray Kelly, told reporters.

Williams was off duty at the time.

Williams, who had worked in the courthouse division of the sheriff’s office for a year, hadn’t yet been booked when authorities announced his surrender, Kelly said.

Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Devin Williams Jr.
Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Devin Williams Jr.City of Dublin

“Our agency is in shock,” Kelly said. “This is not something we deal with. This is not what we’re about. We had no idea that this could happen.”

Kelly added that "some significant things" happened in Williams' life in recent months that appeared to have prompted an "emotional crisis."

"A lot of those events went undiscovered and undisclosed," Kelly said.

Kelly said there was “connectivity” between Williams and the couple, who haven’t been publicly identified. He didn’t provide additional details.

Williams worked a courthouse shift Tuesday, as well as an overtime shift at a county jail until 11 p.m., Kelly said. It wasn't clear when or how Williams is alleged to have entered the Dublin home, he said.

Six people were in the home when gunfire was reported to authorities around 12:45 a.m., Kelly said. Among them was an out-of-town relative who became a key eyewitness in the shooting, Kelly said.

The couple were pronounced dead at the scene, the Dublin Police Department said in a news release. No one else was injured.

Williams fled in a Volkswagen, Kelly said. Highway patrol officers took him into custody about 160 miles away, near the city of Coalinga, minutes before authorities announced his surrender during an 11:30 a.m. news conference, Kelly said.

Williams turned himself in after a 45-minute phone conversation with Dublin Police Chief Garrett Holmes, who used crisis intervention techniques to peacefully resolve the incident, Kelly said.

Before he started at the sheriff's office, Williams worked in the state's Central Valley for the Stockton Police Department. A spokesman for the department, Joe Silva, said he was employed for one year, from Jan. 16, 2020, to Jan. 19, 2021.

Silva declined to discuss Williams' "separation" from the department, saying it was a personnel matter.

Kelly said the sheriff's office conducted a thorough background check before it hired Williams and found that it was "immaculate."

In the year since Williams was hired, no disciplinary or other issues were reported, Kelly said, adding that he'd done a "very good job."

He "was really a remarkable young person," Kelly said. "How we got here today — it will be part of our investigation and something we’ll be looking at as a law enforcement profession." 

It wasn't immediately clear whether Williams has a lawyer to speak on his behalf.