LANCASTER – A sheriff’s SWAT team Wednesday arrested a 48-year-old man after an hours-long standoff, authorities said.
The incident began around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, when deputies went to the 200 block of East Avenue J-12 on a report of vandalism involving William Dean Nickel, who had been released on bond after being arrested for allegedly shooting into an inhabited dwelling, according to a news release by the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The deputies learned that there was “an ongoing investigation of a neighbor dispute between the victim and the suspect,” the news release states. “At arrival, they discovered the bonded suspect had a history of having weapons, (and) out of an abundance of caution for the safety of all involved, Special Weapons Team personnel were requested.”
The sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau responded early Wednesday morning. Crisis negotiators also were sent. The surrounding homes were evacuated, and Joshua Elementary School was closed and students and faculty were diverted to El Dorado Elementary School.
“It was learned that the suspect might not be in the location, as originally thought, and that he might be in his motorhome,” the news release states. “Deputies observed the suspect at the cross streets of Sierra Highway and West Avenue N, Palmdale, while patrolling areas he frequents.”
“After several hours and continuous verbal contact by SEB, and Crisis Negotiations Team members, the suspect complied and surrendered to deputies,” the sheriff’s news release states.
Nickel was arrested on suspicion of intimidating a witness or victim, making criminal threats, and vandalism, according to the sheriff’s news release.
The shooting that triggered Nickel’s previous arrest occurred in August of 2017, the sheriff’s department reported.