Tacoma man who allegedly shot dog now faces weapons charges

Tacoma News Tribune

A Tacoma man who allegedly shot his dog during a drunken fit Tuesday now faces weapons charges after police found a cache of weapons and supplies needed to make Improvised Explosive Devices.

Pierce County prosecutors today charged William Walston, 38, with first-degree animal cruelty, unlawful manufacturing or selling explosives and discharging a firearm.

Police were called to Walston’s apartment in the 2300 block of South 96th Street about 12:25 a.m. Tuesday after neighbors reported hearing gunshots. They told dispatchers they saw Walston fire two rounds into the ground on his porch near his Boxer.

“Officers were told that the defendant is a former member of the military who drinks heavily and is known to carry a firearm,” according to charging papers.

When officers arrived, they ordered Walston to show his hands. He allegedly refused to obey, prompting an officer to use a Taser gun.

Walston dropped a Ruger .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol after he was struck by the Taser, court records state.

He allegedly told police he shot the family’s dog in the right hip because he was tired of the dog running away from him and not listening. Walston took the dog outside, commanded him to sit down and then shot him, court records show.

Walston claimed the shooting was an accident.

After police arrested Walston, they searched his home and allegedly found a cache of weapons in the walk-in closet of his bedroom. It included supplies needed to make IEDs, a manual titled “Unconventional Warfare Devices and Techniques,” ammunition, body armor and nine guns.

All weapons were seized.