This time last summer, Jonesboro, Ark. police were under fire for the case of Chavis Carter —a man authorities claimed shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a squad car– and now comes a similarly confusing officer-involved incident.
A man, suspected of stealing a car was gunned down by Little Rock Police Department Officer Terry McDaniel, but there’s speculation that he didn’t actually have to shoot the suspect.
Also, the vehicle wasn’t even stolen.
McDaniel, 25, shot 26-year-old Deon Williams during a foot pursuit. He and five-year veteran Officer Grant Humphries were patrolling a neighborhood Monday (July 15) and were passed up by a vehicle believed to have an expired plate number. The cops thought the SUV might be stolen (it actually belonged to friend Shemedia Shelton, who made clear: “It was not stolen.”) when Williams pulled over got out, and started walking away.
Cops noticed a bulge in Williams’ waistband and asked him to walk towards their car. He began to flee but lost his footing, and the gun fell out. According to the LRPD, the officer had a Taser yet opted for his weapon once he saw Williams attempt to grab the firearm, and get back on his feet. McDaniel allegedly shot out of self-defense and arrested Williams.
Police later admitted that Williams never actually shot at authorities.
Below is the recount according to a LRPD police report:
On July 15, 2013, at approximately 11:40 a.m. officers of the Little Rock Police Department were on patrol in the area of 12th and Jonesboro Street when they observed a black Chevy Suburban that they thought matched the description of one they had seen on the LRPD stolen vehicle alert sheet. According to officers, the marked police vehicle passed the Suburban and the officers observed that it had what they thought was an expired license plate. The officers pulled over to let the vehicle pass them, however the vehicle had pulled over and stopped on the side of the street. After waiting for a short period of time the officers decided to turn around and make contact with the driver since the vehicle was not moving. As the officers were turning their vehicle around they observed the driver exit the driver’s side of the Suburban.
The subject began walking away and one of the officers observed a bulge in his waistband and he thought the subject was trying to conceal something. Officers asked the subject to walk over to their vehicle and at that point the subject began to flee. One officer began a foot pursuit and the other officer got in the patrol vehicle and attempted to cut the subject off. The officer on foot pursued the subject to the back yard of a house in the 1100 block of Adams Street. As the officer came around the corner of this yard he saw a handgun fall out of the subject’s waistband. The officer had his Taser out at the time and dropped it when he saw the handgun. He drew his service weapon and saw the subject pick up the handgun, look towards him, and start to get to his feet. At that point the officer feared for his life and fired his service weapon approximately three times. The subject fell to the ground and was taken into custody.
The suspect’s weapon was recovered at the scene as was an unknown amount of narcotics. The suspect was transported to UAMS where he died from his wound(s). He was pronounced dead at 12:17 p.m. The subject was identified by fingerprints as Deon Williams (B/M 11/12/86).
For three hours demonstrators held “a peaceful little protest” at the crime scene while police were present. “People have a right to express their opinions and ideas and we’re going to protect that right,” said Police Chief Stuart Thomas. “By the same token, we have an obligation to follow through with what we have to do at the scene.”
Authorities have opened an investigation into Williams death, while McDaniel is on paid administrative leave. Last year he shot and killed another suspect who police say shot two men after a home invasion.
Photo: Little Rock PD