EWU student arrested after pulling gun on police

EWU student arrested after pulling gun on police

An Eastern Washington University student was arrested early Friday morning after he pulled a gun on Cheney police officers early Friday morning.

Officers say they were called to the Eagle’s Pub at 1:19 a.m. on a report of a fight where a suspect had reportedly brandished a pistol. When they arrived they found a man outside urinating on the wall. When police told the man to stop, 21-year-old Chandler Gayton turned around, faced the officers and allegedly pulled a loaded 9mm handgun gun out of his pocket.

The police drew their weapons at the same time. Police say Gayton held the pistol in the ready position but did not point the barrel of the gun at them.

“They immediately identified themselves as police and and told him to freeze and the gun still came out of his waistband and they told him to drop the gun, drop the gun several times,” Cheney Police Chief John Hensley said.

EWU student gun video

Officers were able to use voice commands to order Gayton, who was intoxicated, to drop the gun and lay down on the ground.

“He then held the gun in what we call a ‘low ready’ in two hands pointed at the ground and at this point the officers had already drawn their weapons and got him to comply with their demands,” Chief Hensley said.

Prior to his arrest Gayton, according to KXLY sources, had been in a bar with a concealed weapon. While he does have a concealed weapons permit even with a permit it’s illegal to have a firearm in a bar.

Police Chief Hensley thinks his officers showed tremendous restraint during what could have been a justified shooting.

“The gun was still pointed at the ground and so at that point they felt it wasn’t necessary to engage him but you’re right, exactly , the fact that he pulled the gun from his waist could have resulted in the use of deadly force,” he said.

Chief Hensley is happy that Gayton decided to listen to officers and drop the handgun, helping to defuse a potentially deadly confrontation.

“The officers didn’t know if this was suicide by cop, they didn’t know if this individual was on drugs or if this individual had some sort of grudge against law enforcement, but we are very pleased that it ended the way it di,” Chief Hensley said.

Gayton, a 2009 graduate of O’Dea High School in Seattle, was a defensive back on the EWU Football team before Friday. According to his bio on the EWU Eagles Football site, he redshirted in 2009, was a non-lettering squad member in 2010 and was a reserve player on the team roster.

Raised in Seattle, his father, Carver Gayton, is listed as one of the 150 most distinguished alumni at the University of Washington in 150 years. He played football for the Huskies and was a three-time letterman and participated in the 1959 season when the Huskies went 10-1 and made an appearance in the 1960 Rose Bowl.

In addition to his distinguished football career at Washington, Gayton’s father was the first African American FBI agent from Washington State after his appointment by J. Edgar Hoover in 1963. He later went on to a career at Boeing and served as the Commissioner of the Washington State Department of Employment Security for Governor Gary Locke.

Information about Gayton’s father was retrieved from his EWU football bio page at 8:30 a.m. Friday. A check of the bio at 11:30 a.m. Friday showed that information about his father had been removed.

As soon as EWU Football Coach Beau Baldwin found out about the incident Friday morning Gayton was kicked off the football team. A short time later Gayton’s bio was pulled entirely from the EWU Football site.

Friday afternoon Coach Baldwin said that Gayton didn’t display any sort of behavior that would have led coaches to believe an incident like this could have happened.

In fact Baldwin said Gayton hasn’t been is any trouble of any kind during his time in Cheney.

Baldwin added that if one of his players breaks the laws, the punishment depends on the degree of the crime and in this instance, they had no choice but to dismiss Gayton from the team.

In addition to being kicked off the football team, Eastern Washington University has suspended him. The university will now decide if he can continue to attend classes at Eastern at a code of conduct hearing.

Gayton has been charged with intimidation with a weapon and possession of a firearm in a controlled place. His bond on the charges have been set $750.

KXLY Sports Director Ben Kaplan contributed to this report.