Police: Suspect in Adams County shooting now in custody

Posted at 8:12 PM, Mar 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 17:30:59-04

NEW MEADOWS, Idaho — UPDATE: A man suspected of shooting at two Adams County Sheriff's Office deputies is now in custody. On April 4, Just after 11 p.m., the Adams County Sheriff's Office received a call that William James was at the original home in Old Meadows. Adams, Valley and Idaho County deputies responded, as well as Idaho State Police.

Officers were able to apprehend James without incident. James has been charged with two counts of attempted murder on law enforcement personnel, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts assault with intent to commit a serious felony.

ORIGINAL STORY: New details have emerged in what law enforcement authorities are calling the attempted murder of two Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies Sunday.

Police say the suspect, William "Bill" Pearle James, remains at large.

According to a probable cause affidavit released to the media, a woman called the Adams County Sheriff’s Office about 4:35 pm Sunday, saying her son was at her home on Highway 55 in New Meadows, in violation of a protection order. The document identified the woman as Dale James and her son as William Pearle James.

Two uniformed deputies arrived at the address shortly thereafter.

“They pulled into the main driveway of the property where there are multiple outbuildings. Deputy Benavides was able to exit his patrol vehicle and began speaking with Dale. Deputy Sauerland pulled into the driveway as well, and William James began firing at them with a rifle from a barn on the west side of the property. Deputy Sauerland was able to exit her vehicle and take cover behind it. William continued firing his rifle at the two officers and struck Deputy Sauerland’s vehicle multiple times, almost hitting her …” the document said.

An off-duty Idaho Fish and Game officer (who was not identified in the Probable Cause Affidavit) was in the area and heard the shots fired. The report said he saw the suspect in the barn. The3 officer said “…the suspect was making movements as if he was going to continue pursuing and firing at the officers.” The officer fired at the suspect with his handgun “…and last saw him running to the west with an SKS type rifle in his hand.”

The officers set up a perimeter around the property. But we unable to locate the suspect.

Authorities closed a section of State Highway 55 between McCall and New Meadows, but there was no sign of James.

If you’ve seen James or know where he may be, police say do not approach him, since he is considered armed and dangerous. Instead, notify either the Adams County Sheriff’s Office or the Idaho State Police. Both agencies have set up a joint command post at the New Meadows Fire Department