KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) - Three people have been arraigned in connection with the shooting of a sheriff's deputy.
William Wright was charged with nine felonies including assault with intent to murder, felony firearm, concealed weapon in a vehicle, breaking and entering, arson, unlawful driving away of a vehicle, fleeing and eluding, and two counts of resisting and obstructing. His bond was set at $1 million.
Wright's brother, Christopher, was charged on Monday with resisting and obstructing officers -- a two-year felony.
William's girlfriend Jessica Carpenter was arraigned Tuesday with accessory after the fact, which could result in five years behind bars and/or a $10,000 fine.
The suspects are accused in the incident that began with a traffic stop on Jan. 6 on E. Michigan Avenue near Sprinkle Road in Kalamazoo.
Deputy Jeff Nichols and Reserve Deputy Jeremy Conley approached the vehicle. Then, gunshots were fired from inside the vehicle at the deputies, authorities said.
Dep. Nichols was shot in an arm and returned fire.
"White male driver reached around and shot at me," Nichols said to the dispatcher over his radio just after being shot. "I discharged several rounds back at the vehicle."
The suspects drove away and their pickup truck was located nearby, but the suspects were nowhere to be found.
Police said Carpenter let the Wright brothers drive around in her Jeep for several hours after the incident and that she was with them.
A chase then ensued and William Wright crashed the Jeep near Lovers Lane and Monticello Avenue. The Wrights fled, but Carpenter was arrested.
William Wright was located in a garage in the 5000 block of Mt. Vernon Avenue, where police said he started a fire and caused an explosion. He then stole a car from the garage, crashed through the closed garage door and drove away, police said.
The 28-year-old was later stopped and arrested on I-94 near Helmer Road in Battle Creek.
Christopher, 25, was taken into custody in the Mt. Vernon Avenue area after hiding in the back of a truck.
Carpenter was originally being held on an outstanding methamphetamine warrant.
The Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team searched the house in October with Carpenter's permission. A warrant was then issued for Carpenter for possession of meth and maintaining a drug house. She faces several years in prison for the charges.
A former neighbor said that the residence was a well-known meth house.
"A lot of cooking meth, I am not going to lie to you," said Carpenter's former neighbor, who didn't want to be identified. "People coming in and out of that place in and out every day."
William Wright was at the house when it was searched -- fresh out of prison for meth possession.
There was a third person with the Wrights during the original traffic stop. He fled the scene after the gunshots were fired, was later found, questioned, and will not face any charges in the case.
Sheriff Fuller says that firing at officers has become a disturbing trend recently and that his deputies know that:
"So it's very important for the citizens to remember that these people understand every night that they are out there to protect them but it could also be the last night that they get to do that. So yes, these officers were very aware of the fact that these suspects still had the firearm and that at any point we could end up in another fire fight."
Dep. Nichols is a 13-year veteran with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department. He was treated for his gunshot wound and released at a hospital.
Reserve Dep. Conley has been with the department for one-and-a-half years.
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