An Alameda County sheriff’s deputy in California allegedly shot and killed a married couple in their home while family members were present.
Dublin Police Services responded to a double shooting at a home on Colebrook Lane, where they found 42-year-old Maria Tran and 57-year-old Benison Tran with gunshot wounds to their heads and necks on Sept. 7, according to reports.
Devin Williams Jr., a 24-year-old former officer at the Stockton Police Department and a current deputy with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, allegedly fatally shot the couple and fled the scene. Nearly 11 hours later, he called the police and turned himself in.
Williams Jr. was taken into custody by the California Highway Patrol near the Central Valley city of Coalinga. He was charged with two counts of murder with special circumstances, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
Lt. Ray Kelly, a spokesperson with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, said there were four other relatives present in the residence during the shooting, including the couple’s 14-year-old son, who were all unharmed.
“It’s a great loss for our community and it’s even more disheartening to find out that it was one of our own that was the trigger-person behind this tragic incident,” Dublin Police Chief Garrett Holmes said.
Maria Tran was a nurse who immigrated from Vietnam in 2004. Benison Tran had just retired last year as a civil engineer for the city of Santa Clara after nearly 29 years.
“We have learned that one of our beloved John George Psychiatric Hospital (JGPH) nurses, Maria Tran, was tragically killed early Wednesday morning. Our hearts go out to the family, friends, JGPH staff, and especially to those who worked closely with Maria. She was a brilliant and excellent nurse who cared deeply for those we serve,” the John George Psychiatric Hospital said in a statement.
The motive behind the shooting is still being investigated. In an interview with the defendant’s father, he said his son was in a “dating relationship” with Maria. In recent months, Maria formed a relationship with Williams Jr. based on their roles as nurse and law enforcement officer at the hospital, according to reports.
Williams Jr. is currently being held in a Santa Rita jail where he once worked while awaiting his arraignment.
“He grew up in a very affluent home, well-loved, graduated from college with honors, was really a remarkable young person. How we got here today, it will be part of our investigation and something we’re looking at,” Kelly told The Record.
“Our agency is in shock,” he was also quoted as saying. “This is not something we deal with. This is not what we’re about. We had no idea that this could happen.”