Snohomish man accused of confronting ‘suspect’ at gunpoint

SNOHOMISH — A Snohomish man who allegedly has been trying to take the law into his own hands is getting some first-hand experience with the real deal.

Graham Melvin Willmore, 52, was jailed for investigation of assault and unlawful imprisonment after allegedly claiming to be “police” and ordering a man to the ground at gunpoint Wednesday. His bail was set at $25,000.

Willmore called 911 just after noon Wednesday to report seeing a man go behind a sewage lift station in the 1800 block of First Street. He described the man as white, in his 50s and wearing a black bandana. He told dispatchers that he thought the man may be carrying a weapon in a fanny pack.

As it turned out, the man was neither armed nor did he have a fanny pack, police said. Instead, he had a black baseball cap on his belt.

When Snohomish Police Chief John Flood arrived, he saw Willmore pointing a black, semiautomatic handgun at a man who was on the ground.

The chief was the first officer on the scene and quickly recognized the suspect. He said he had a notion it would be Willmore based on a description of his pickup and other recent encounters with the police department.

Flood said he arrived to see the suspect pointing a gun at the other man, who was on his knees.

While the suspect was cooperative and immediately holstered his weapon, the victim feared for his life, Flood said.

“He looked like you or me, just some guy walking down the street, an average Joe,” the police chief said. “He thought that our suspect was going to shoot him. He was so thankful when we arrived.”

Ironically, the man said he was out walking to relieve stress.

After police sorted out what was going on, it was Willmore who wound up wearing handcuffs.

The other man told police he was walking when Willmore pulled up in a pickup truck, jumped out and pointed a handgun at his face.

Willmore allegedly screamed at the man to get on the ground, and when asked who he was, he reportedly responded, “The police.”

It was the third time in recent weeks that Willmore has been the focus of Snohomish police reports involving self-styled crime fighting, according to court records.

In the first incident April 16, Willmore allegedly pulled a gun on a man who refused to take his hands out of his pockets at his command. When questioned by police, Willmore said that man looked like somebody he’d seen on “Washington’s Most Wanted,” and that he considered shooting him when he approached within eight feet. Willmore came to the police department to report the encounter. Police were not able to track down any witnesses, including the man who was allegedly held at gunpoint.

On Monday, Willmore reportedly intimidated “several” Snohomish shopkeepers by carrying a handgun in a holster on his hip. He spoke negatively about police, claiming they were “not doing anything to get rid of the homeless and criminals in the city,” court papers said.

“A reasonable person would conclude that Willmore (is) trying to take on the responsibilities of the police and his aggressive behavior is clearly escalating,” police wrote after Wednesday’s incident.

The handgun Willmore was carrying on that day was fully loaded. He told police he decided to stop the man who was walking near the lift station because he thought he resembled a burglary suspect who had hit the neighborhood.

Willmore said he had approached the man and said, “Hello, do you live around here?” He claimed the man reacted with aggression, and that’s why he unholstered his handgun.

He denied pointing the weapon and said he had no plan to shoot anyone.

“I asked Willmore what he would have done if (the other man) did not follow his instructions and continued to walk on. Willmore stated he would have discharged the weapon into the ground,” the police report said.

The suspect was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on Wednesday.

“I applaud people who want to be proactive, but this individual has just gone past anything we would condone,” Flood said.

Scott North: 425-339-3431, north@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Ian Terry / The Herald Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens. Photo taken on 03302017
Heavy traffic on toll idea to help fund a new U.S. 2 trestle

A GOP lawmaker’s chart shows theoretical toll rates of up to $6.30 to cross the trestle one-way.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

Teen murder suspect captured — then escapes and is recaptured

The 16-year-old is one of at least three young suspects in the shooting death of an Everett woman.

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital accepting adolescent patients

The facility is the first mental heallth unit in the county to offer in-patient services for children.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Most Read