Suspect in officer-involved shooting faces new charges

Joseph Patrick Williams. Washoe County jail photo.
Joseph Patrick Williams. Washoe County jail photo.(KOLO)
Published: May. 13, 2020 at 3:24 PM PDT
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The suspect in an officer-involved shooting near Derby Dam is facing new charges.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office says Joseph Williams is now facing one felony charge of ex-felon in possession of a firearm, and two felony charges of assault on a peace officer.

The sheriff's office said Williams placed officers in fear of immediate bodily harm when he used his truck to ram officer vehicles while attempting to get away.

Authorities also said after serving a search warrant on Williams' truck, a handgun was found inside.


The man shot by a Sparks Police Department officer

after a chase has been identified as Joseph Patrick Williams, 38.

A Sparks police officer was checking out a report of a theft that happened in the 1600 block of Victorian Avenue when he saw Williams get into a vehicle and drive away, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office reported Wednesday.

Police tried to stop him, but Williams sped off. Police also heard what sounded like gunshots and police proceeded with caution.

The chase continued through the industrial area of east Sparks where Williams drove through a fence to try to get away. He continued onto the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 and spike strips set down by the Nevada Highway Patrol did not stop him, the sheriff’s office said.

A Sparks police officer shot Williams at about 12:56 a.m. near Derby Dam. Williams was hospitalized and then released and booked into the Washoe County jail on a felony count of a driver disobeying a peace officer and endangering others. He remained in custody Wednesday afternoon.

This was not Williams’ first chase. In October 2015, Williams was accused of leading law enforcement on an hour-long chase.

A Lyon County Sheriff’s Office deputy tried to stop Williams in Fernley but he took off speeding down Interstate 80 and onto Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe land and hit an LCSO vehicle chasing him. He drove back to Fernley, circling around the neighborhood where the chase started. A resident tried to assist authorities by shooting a shotgun at him but missed and then a Pyramid Lake tribal officer hit his vehicle.

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