Standoff between police and man suspected of being armed ends peacefully

Gary DeVon/staff photos Jon DeVon lays face down on the ground after an hours long standoff with law enforcement last Sunday, May 10. DeVon was alleged to have made threats to four individuals before stealing a vehicle and driving to an orchard where he barricaded himself in a shop building. After securing the suspect several law enforcement officers entered the building looking for a weapon but none was found.

Gary DeVon/staff photos
Jon DeVon lays face down on the ground after an hours long standoff with law enforcement last Sunday, May 10. DeVon was alleged to have made threats to four individuals before stealing a vehicle and driving to an orchard where he barricaded himself in a shop building. After securing the suspect several law enforcement officers entered the building looking for a weapon but none was found.

OROVILLE – Well-armed county, local and federal law enforcement surrounded a workshop on Sawtells Road last Sunday, where an Oroville man had barricaded himself after allegedly making threats against several people and stealing a vehicle.

Following more than two hours of negotiation, Jon Gabriele DeVon, 41, backed out of the workshop still holding a mobile phone to his ear. After shouts from law enforcement, the suspect dropped to the ground and several officers rushed in to take him into custody.

Prior to coming out, negotiators could be heard over a loudspeaker telling DeVon “that Jody was on the phone and wanted to talk to him” and later “this is Jody, Jon answer your phone” could be heard on the loudspeaker. About 15 minutes later someone yelled, “We have movement” and then DeVon exited the shop.

Suspect Jon DeVon doesn’t look to concerned after backing out of a shop building that he had barricaded himself in on Sawtells Road. He was told to lay face down and taken into custody.

Suspect Jon DeVon doesn’t look too concerned after backing out of a shop building that he had barricaded himself in on Sawtells Road. He was told to lie face down and taken into custody.

After the suspect was in custody, several armed officers entered the concrete block building and gave the all clear and said no weapon was found inside. Law enforcement, including sheriff’s deputies, as well as several agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, could be seen using their county and Border Patrol vehicles as barriers as they aimed automatic rifles in the direction of the shop building during the standoff.

“On Sunday, May 10, 2020, at about 4:08 p.m. the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a vehicle being taken without the owner’s permission by Jon DeVon, 41, from Oroville,” said Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley in a press release Monday. “The initial report also advised DeVon had stated this was his last day and he had a list of people he wants to ‘get rid of.’”

Hawley went on to write, “The deputies were advised of four people DeVon had mentioned. The deputies were also advised DeVon had been in possession of a shotgun and he had pointed the shotgun at the reporting party a couple days earlier.”

“Deputies located the stolen vehicle at 99 Sawtells Road. They then contacted the residence and were informed DeVon was in an outbuilding on the property at about 6:03 p.m. DeVon barricaded himself inside the building and deputies set up and maintained a perimeter while they attempted to get DeVon to exit the outbuilding and surrender,” writes Hawley.

The North Central Washington Special Response Team and sheriff’s office negotiators were called to respond to the residence, according to the sheriff.

At about 8:20 p.m., negotiations were successful and DeVon exited the outbuilding and was taken into custody. He was not found in possession of a shotgun at the time of his arrest, according to Hawley.

DeVon was booked into Okanogan County Jail. He was charged with taking a motor vehicle without permission, second degree; assault in the first degree, domestic violence; felony harassment, domestic violence; assault in the fourth degree, domestic violence and obstructing law enforcement.

DeVon was found guilty in the homicide by abuse of his 22-month-old stepson in Okanogan County Superior Court in 2006. He had claimed the young boy died as a result of injuries sustained from a fall off a woodpile in 2005 in the very same shop building where DeVon had barricaded himself on Sunday.

In 2017, DeVon had 25 years taken off his 37.5-year sentence for the child’s death after his case was sent back to Okanogan County Superior Court by the Washington State Court of Appeals. That court said that there had been an issue with jury selection. Branden Platter, the then Okanogan County Prosecutor, made a deal with DeVon and he was sent free.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.