Abilene police arrest suspect for pointing 'assault rifle' at officer


ABILENE, Texas - UPDATE: Abilene police arrested Willie Gray Wednesday evening after a day-long manhunt through the north side of town.

Someone called 911 after spotting Gray in the 1600 block of Graham Street. When patrol officers responded, he was unarmed and in the street.

"We are grateful this ended peacefully and without injury to anyone," said Sgt. Lynn Beard.

Gray is charged with aggravated assault against a peace officer. His bond was set at $200,000.

Gray allegedly pointed a rifle at an Abilene police officer following a check about suspected burglaries. That prompted an hours-long manhunt near North 14th and Lillius streets.


The suspect who threatened to kill an Abilene police officer Wednesday morning is Willie Gray, 29, according to Police Chief Stan Standridge.

Standridge told KTXS that Gray pointed an assault rifle at an officer "with the intent of murdering" the officer.

Police believe the assault rifle being carried by Gray was stolen during a crime spree that started Tuesday night.

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a burglary occurred at a south Abilene home on Woodhaven Circle. During the burglary, seven guns were stolen, including an AR-15.

Later Tuesday night, police received a call about shots fired in the 1400 block of Mesquite Street. Officers who responded but did not find any suspects.

A second call of shots fired was then received in the 1000 block of Westmoreland Street. The suspect in that shooting was also gone before police arrived.

Police did, however, take several people into custody for questioning. They also seized a car where they found some of the guns and the ammo that was stolen from the home on Woodhaven.

Wednesday morning, police got a 911 call about a black male carrying an assault rifle at North 14 th and Lillius streets.




When an officer responded, Standridge said Gray pointed a .223 caliber assault rifle at the officer. The officer took cover behind his Chevy Tahoe and Gray took off running.

Police set up a perimeter and searched the area with a K-9 officer. They also conducted a house-to-house search of the area, but did not find Gray.

Standridge said Gray is armed and dangerous.

Meanwhile, nearby Martinez Elementary School was put on "high alert" while Texas Leadership Charter Academy of Abilene was placed on lockdown.

Previous story: Abilene police are looking for an armed suspect in the vicinity of North 14 th and Lillius streets. Nearby Martinez Elementary is on 'high alert.'

City spokesperson Alaisha Montanez told KTXS that an officer spotted the suspect breaking into cars. When the officer confronted the suspect, the suspect pulled out a gun and ran.

The suspect is described as a light skin black male in his mid-30s with tattoos around both eyes and on both cheeks. He was last seen wearing khaki pants and a blue and white striped shirt.

Abilene ISD spokesman Phil Ashby said "Martinez Elementary School is not in immediate danger but the activity is in the general vicinity and SRO's (School Resource Officers) have been dispatched to the campus to provide additional protection.

"The campus has not been placed on lockdown but for precautionary reasons has been put on High Alert, which means the perimeter has been secured and outside activity and visitors are being restricted.

"School will continue as normal inside the building."