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Spokane police catch felon ditching 3 guns

Fri., April 12, 2013, 7:08 a.m.

SPOKANE — Spokane police said a felon gang member was caught early this morning after tossing three guns while being chased by officers.

Officers responded to a report of shots fired from a minivan in the 1200 block of East Joseph Avenue around 12:30 a.m., a news release from the Spokane Police Department said. The vehicle left the scene before officers arrived and no victims were found.

An hour later, Officer Adam Valdez followed a suspicious minivan and recognized the vehicle license plate as the same vehicle that had eluded him the night before. Valdez had chased the van but stopped when speeds became too fast to continue safely.

This time, he saw the van stopped by the side of the road in the 1600 block of East Rich Avenue and saw a male and two females leave it on foot. Valdez chased the man through a yard, watched him jump a fence and eventually found him hiding behind a shed. During the chase, Valdez saw the man reach into the front of his waistband as if accessing a weapon, the release said.

Because he was concerned the man was armed, Valdez maintained verbal contact with the man while calling for backup, the release said.

Responding officers ended up finding three loaded handguns in the area — one in a driveway, one on the other side of a fence the suspect jumped over and one in a yard adjacent to where he was hiding, the release said. One of the guns had been reported stolen.

Police booked 28-year-old Maceo L. Williams into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm, as well as a felony escape warrant.

Williams is a gang member with convictions for possession of a controlled substance, riot with a deadly weapon, assault and burglary, the release said.

Police also are investigating his possible connection to the shots fired on Joseph Avenue.

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