Officers with the Covington Police Department apprehended and arrested a man at the Walmart on Industrial Boulevard Wednesday night after he reportedly pointed a gun at a group of people while outside at South Emory Street.
Police responded to a home on South Emory around 7 p.m. after receiving a call about an argument. Officers met with two men who reported that another man, later identified as Wallace McKibben, had come to the area looking for the mother of his child.
A witness said McKibben was coming to drop off the child and when he got out, he took a gun out of a baby bag and placed it on the seat in the car.
Another witness told police that they told McKibben he wasn’t supposed to be there and, according to the report, McKibben started arguing with one of the men. When McKibben stepped out of his vehicle, he reportedly pointed the gun at the man and other people standing outside.
Once people started running outside and yelling to call the police, McKibben reportedly jumped in the vehicle and drove off, the report said. A witness said that McKibben had a warrant out against him, and had been running from the police.
After speaking with a witness on the phone, police were informed that McKibben was headed toward the Walmart on Industrial Boulevard in a black Mazda.
Police went to the area near Hazelbrand Road and Waterford Road, where a black vehicle similar to the one described was seen coming from Waterford Road, and it turned right onto Hazelbrand Road traveling toward Industrial Boulevard, the report said.
An officer reportedly followed the vehicle as it turned onto Industrial Boulevard, and advised other police units in the area that he possibly had the car.
The officer let the vehicle pull into the Walmart parking lot, and, as the officer pulled toward the store, he asked more units to respond quickly so that when the vehicle stopped, the apprehension could be quick.
Police observed three people in the car, two in the front and one in the rear, who appeared to be "hunkered down" as police got behind the vehicle. Once the vehicle was parked, police approached and gave several commands for everyone to get out of the car and show their hands.
The two front-seat passengers complied, but McKibben reportedly did not.
According to the report, McKibben was observed with a gun in his hand, as officers continued to give verbal commands for him to get out of the car. He finally exited the car, and an officer quickly arrested him.
The report said police recovered a loaded handgun in the back floorboard of the vehicle where McKibben was sitting, 11 plastic baggies containing marijuana, and a set of digital scales.
Police reported that a plastic baggie of marijuana was also found in McKibben’s front pocket, and a black holster inside the waist area of his belt.
Daisy Horton, the driver of the vehicle, was taken to the Walton County Jail on a warrant. McKibben was taken to the Newton County Jail and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Covington Police Capt. Ken Malcom praised officers for their quick approach in arresting Wallace.
"I don’t think people truly understand just how often officers are faced with potentially deadly-force situations like the one these officers were faced with last night," Malcom said.
"Lt. Wendell Wagstaff and Officer Hayward DeRouen did an outstanding job arresting this armed man without anyone getting hurt. These officers could see as they approached the vehicle they had stopped that a man was crouched down in the back seat of the car with a gun in his hand," he said
"Our officers recognized this man as the one involved in the earlier incident. Knowing there were innocent people in the front of the vehicle, these men remained calm and continued to give verbal orders until this man finally dropped his weapon and gave himself up. Officer DeRouen and Lt. Wagstaff relied on their training and experience to defuse this dangerous situation. They should be commended for their exceptional work during the tense moments of this arrest."