ANTIOCH (CBS SF) — An intense search was underway early Monday for a missing mother and her 4-year-old son whose father is the suspect in a violent crime spree, including the drive-by shooting of two Antioch first responders and the murder of a man found dead inside a Discovery Bay home.
The Contra Contra Sheriff’s Department said it was very concerned about the safety of Darryon Williams’ four-year-old son and the mother of the child, 31-year-old Kimberly Meeks of Discovery Bay. They were missing as of Monday morning.READ MORE: Bay Area Health Workers Cheer Newly-Approved 1-Shot Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
The murder victim, 64-year-old Michael Iliff, had apparently taken in Meeks and the child as residents in his Discovery Bay home, according to Meeks’ brother and sister. Iliff’s family had not been aware of the arrangement but his sister said Iliff was likely just trying to help them by letting them live in his home.
“He tried to help people, probably a little too much,” said sister Joan Illif. “You know, he’s the kind of person that just wouldn’t hurt a fly. Probably not afraid of people that he should’ve been.”
Authorities asked the public to be on the lookout for the vehicle Meeks and the boy may be traveling in — a dark colored Audi SUV with California license plate – 8UKN742. Meeks has connections in the Stockton area.
Meanwhile, Williams was in custody following the Saturday night drive-by shooting and the Iliff’s murder. He was being held on $11 million bail.
Williams was also suspected in a Brentwood Quik Stop convenience store armed robbery that same night.
He was arrested after a police pursuit that traversed two counties and ended moments after the his stolen vehicle collided with a parked vehicle late Saturday night. A CHP spokesperson said his vehicle reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour during the chase.
The incident began shortly before 9 p.m., when Contra Costa firefighters and an ambulance from American Medical Response responded to a call for someone requiring medical attention in a parking lot in the 1900 block of Auto Center Drive.
Employees of a Panda Express made the 911 call after a man walked into the restaurant, complaining of stomach pain.
“The ambulance came, the firefighters were already here, they were getting him settled in a way,” said Maura, who works at the restaurant. “Then you just hear gunshots and then one of the paramedics fell … We just ran inside because none of us wanted to get hurt…There were about six shots.”
Investigators said that while the first responders were caring for the patient, a silver SUV drove by and someone inside fired shots at them. The vehicle drove by a second time and someone inside fired a second series of shots.
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“It was continuous shooting,” a bystander told KPIX. “Bam, bam, bam — like that. I felt nervous because you hear shots but you couldn’t tell where they were coming from… I just saw all the police coming. It was terrible.”
The bullets struck the side of a police car and the hood of an ambulance.
A 31-year-old firefighter was shot in the foot and a 58-year-old paramedic was shot in the leg. Both men were treated for injuries at local hospitals and later released.
“It’s always in the back of our minds … things can always happen at any scene. I believe this is our first incident where a firefighter has actually been struck by a bullet,” said ConFire prevention captain Joe Ottolini.
The SUV fled the scene westbound on Highway 4 toward Pittsburg, police said, pursued by Antioch officers on a chase that went through Contra Costa and Alameda counties and finally to Richmond, when the suspect’s SUV collided with a parked car.
Police said the suspect then attempted to flee on foot but was quickly taken into custody by Richmond Police and CHP officers. A firearm was also found at the scene.
Later that evening, Antioch officers requested that the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office conduct a welfare check at a residence in the 2100 block of Newport Court in Discovery Bay.
There, deputies discovered Iliff’s bullet-ridden body. Investigators identified Williams as the suspect in the homicide.
“Tonight’s senseless shootings are a vivid reminder of the very real dangers our first responders face, often side-by-side with our law enforcement partners, as they work to save lives across our communities,” said Lewis T. Broschard III, fire chief, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
“We are grateful for the public outpouring of support for our wounded firefighter and AMR paramedic and for the work of law enforcement across the Bay Area to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice.”MORE NEWS: Hundreds Rally in San Mateo to Denounce Violence Against Asian Americans
Antioch police detectives are continuing to investigate and ask that anyone with information about the incident call the department at (925) 778-2441, call Det. Brogdon at (925) 779-6895, or text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword ANTIOCH.