***Warning: The video above may be disturbing to some viewers.***
Canton police released body cam video of the incident, which happened around 12:06 a.m., New Year’s Day.
According to the video, when the officer walks up to the house in the 2300 block of 10th Street SW, he hears someone shooting multiple rounds from behind a wooden fence.
The officer opens fire, killing 46-year old James Williams. According to the bodycam video, after firing the shots, the officer yells “shots fired, shots fired! Police, get down!”
The victim’s’ wife says her husband was shooting his AR-15 into the air to celebrate the new year, an annual ritual. He had already been firing into the air at the stroke of midnight, but went back out five minutes later.
“He went back out about 12:05 a.m. to go shoot some more and when he went out there, he started shooting and next thing I know, he said he got shot and he stumbled back into the house and made it up the stairs into the living room and before he collapsed. He said ‘they shot me’ and collapsed,” said the victim’s wife, Marquetta Williams.
She says, Williams, who leaves behind six daughters, stumbled back into the house where he collapsed and later died.
“They shot through a wooden fence. You couldn’t see out the fence, it was a privacy fence that was six feet tall. You can’t see out this fence and you can’t see in, so that right there in itself was reckless. Anybody could have been back there, kids could have been back there, other adults, anybody,” Marquetta Williams told FOX 8.
Marquetta Williams called her husband a gentle giant with a gentle soul who loved everybody, especially his six daughters.
Canton police are not commenting on the incident.
State BCI agents are conducting the investigation, but they also are not commenting on the case.