SAN DIEGO -- The woman accused of pointing a pellet gun at officers, prompting gunshots and chaos outside the Rock 'n' Roll marathon downtown last Sunday morning, was on drugs during the incident and wanted to commit suicide by forcing police to shoot her, a close friend told FOX 5.
Mona Elease Williams, 58, was a mother and grandmother who battled drug addiction, her friend Lisa said outside a downtown courthouse Wednesday. Williams was actually driving Lisa's car on the day of her arrest, leaving a note and text messages for her friend saying she wanted to end her life by prompting officers to kill her.
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Lisa told FOX 5 that the realistic-looking airsoft gun that Williams is accused of waving at officers belonged to her as well -- both women had spent time homeless, Lisa explained, and she used the gun for self-defense while she was on the streets.
Williams has a criminal history, including a recent jail stint in 2015. She was arraigned at San Diego Central Courthouse Wednesday, and pleaded not guilty to felony charges of resisting an executive officer and misdemeanor hit-and-run. She was ordered held on $100,000 bail and faces 65 years to life in prison if convicted.
It all started on June 3 around 10:45 a.m. when an officer was flagged down about a hit-and-run incident. The suspected vehicle was located about five minutes later at a parking garage downtown near First Avenue and C Street.
When officers approached the woman, later identified as Williams, she pointed a handgun at police before proceeding to the top floor of a parking garage. Officers received reports of the woman firing rounds and holding the gun to her mouth on the eighth floor of the Civic Center parking garage, and a police helicopter spotted Williams with the gun still in-hand.
An officer fired multiple rounds at Williams as they tried to take her into custody, but never hit her. Eventually, police say she threw the weapon down to the street and surrendered. Police Chief David Nisleit said the weapon was a realistic-looking airsoft pellet gun.
An SDPD officer drove himself to a hospital after he accidentally shot himself in the leg during the encounter, police confirm.
Officers initially believed the suspect was also involved with an attempted kidnapping in Chula Vista, but later confirmed that the incidents were not connected.
Officials with the Rock 'n' Roll marathon, which was wrapping up nearby, were made aware of the situation. Nearly 5,000 runners were rerouted to a designated safe zone for about a half hour, marathon spokesman Dan Bergland said in a statement.