Detectives arrest Federal Way woman for brandishing gun twice

SEATTLE — Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers and detectives arrested 31-year-old Nicole Howland from Federal Way under investigation of two separate gun-related incidents that occurred on State Route 18 and Interstate 90.

The investigation started after a 911 call on Monday, May 13, in which the caller said that a woman driving a black GMC Acadia with Washington license plates pointed a black handgun at them and their niece twice. The incident occurred in the eastbound State Route 18 area between the Tiger Mountain summit and I-90.

Troopers contacted the caller and took a statement, including the license plate number of the Acadia. Police showed the caller a photo of the woman registered as the owner of that car, and the caller was able to positively identify that woman as Nicole Howland, the driver and sole occupant of the car.

Detectives then cross-referenced the license plate in the WSP database and discovered the same car was involved in a weapon brandishing case on June 30, 2023. The victim in this case was traveling on eastbound I-90 exiting to State Route 18 just after 5 p.m., and did call 911 to report the incident but did not request any contact by troopers.

Once detectives contacted this victim, they were able to provide a statement and positively identify Howland out of a photo montage. The victim reported that Howland cut them off while taking the exit to SR 18. The victim rolled down her window to talk to Howland, and Howland “racked a round into the chamber while pointing the gun at them.”

According to detectives, they were able to determine a place of employment for Howland and a routine travel time and location.

On Wednesday, May 22, surveillance was set up in the routine area at the usual travel time, with marked units assisting in making a traffic stop and arrest if Howland was located.

Just before 7:30 a.m., Howland’s car was found traveling westbound on I-90 from SR 18, and a traffic stop was initiated on westbound I-90.

Howland was taken into custody without incident just west of Preston, and subsequently booked into the King County Jail on two counts of assault in the second degree and felony harassment.

Detectives received a search warrant for the Acadia, and the handgun was found and placed into evidence

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