A man has been taken into custody after an hours long standoff with police in the parking lot the Safeway in Williams. The man's identity has not yet been released.
The suspect and two others were inside a truck in the parking lot of the Safeway located in the Bill Williams Shopping Plaza. He was threatening to kill himself as authorities tried to intervene.
The suspect was with his dog and began making demands of Williams Police Department at around 11:30 a.m. This led officers into a seven hour stand-off in a Safeway parking lot. The standoff ended at around 6:30 p.m. when officers demanded the subject come out of the car with his hands up. The shooter shot himself in the leg, then crawled out of his vehicle, and was taken to the Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) to receive treatment for a minor gunshot wound
Brian Tozer, a lieutenant at Coconino County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) was at the scene and explained how this happened.
“This originally came from another call from a different county last night, but we located him in town today," Tozer said. "There were two other people in the car when we stopped them here, and when we asked him to comply he refused. He was making demands but we were there to ensure everyone's safety.”
The two people who were with the subject had no correlation to the event the previous evening. While the other incident is still under investigation, Tozer said that the suspect would have multiple charges and ultimately be taken to jail.
The news traveled out to the locals via Facebook. Within minutes, the high school and middle schools were put on lockdown. The students remained in school until around 5:00 p.m. and were finally allowed to go home.
Among the many onlookers of the scene were Safeway employees. The Safeway went on lockdown at around 11:30 a.m. and employees, as well as customers, were not allowed to leave until 5:30 p.m. when officers began releasing people from the store. Once the suspect was taken to FMC, and the crime scene was closed off, the store reopened its doors for the remainder of the night.
Chris Dekneef, a Williams resident originally from Chandler, Arizona, was one of the witnesses.
“[This] doesn’t happen because it is a small town, but there is more drug issues up here than compared to the valley," Dekneef said.
Dekneef added that this is the second incident like this in the past two years. In April of 2017, a suspect fled to the woods in Williams after shooting at deputies.
The scene is still under investigation.