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EWU student nearly shot in police confrontation

Police say an Eastern Washington University student is lucky to be alive after he pointed a gun at two officers who saw him urinate on a building early today.

“I’m certainly proud of our guys,” said Cheney Police Chief John Hensley. “They showed significant restrain in not firing their weapons.”

Police say Chandler Gayton, 21 and a member of the EWU football team, drew his 9 mm semi-automatic pistol when the two officers confronted him while responding to a report of a man brandishing a weapon during a fight at the Eagle Pub at 1st and College in Cheney about 1:19 a.m.

Police saw Gayton urinating on a wall. When they told him to stop “he turned and faced them and drew a weapon,” Hensley said. The officers ordered him to drop it, but Gayton “just stared at them with this blank look in his face,” Hensley said.

Gayton dropped the weapon after several commands and was arrested without incident. He has a concealed weapons permit, but firearms aren’t allowed in bars.

“He should know that he’s not permitted to be in a bar with a gun,” Hensley said. Hensley said Gayton brandished the gun in the bar during an argument.

He was jailed on misdemeanor charges of being in a bar with a firearm and intimidating police with a firearm.

“This is I believe a Mother’s Day present for Gayton’s mother, because this could have been horribly painful had he been shot,” Hensley said.

Gayton, who was dismissed from the football team today, is the son of Carver Gayton, a former University of Washington football player and coach and the first black FBI agent in Washington.