CANTON, Ohio (WOIO/Gray News) – The Canton Police Department released body camera video that shows a deadly officer-involved shooting that happened just after midnight on New Year’s Day.
According to the report from the Canton Police Department, officers responded to a home just after midnight on Jan. 1 for reports of shots fired in the area.
A responding officer can be seen approaching the area where the shots were being fired from, which appeared to be coming from behind a privacy fence.
WARNING: The video of the incident below contains graphic content.
The wife of the man who was killed told @KMazurNews,“My husband and I both went out there to shoot guns in the air, like everybody does to celebrate.” Every NYE, local police agencies warn that celebratory gunfire is illegal and dangerous. https://t.co/7lOAlNqWWC @cleveland19news https://t.co/JdQgrYoy2M
— Misty Stiver (@mistystiver) January 5, 2022
The Canton Police Department said in a press release that the officer “confronted a subject that began shooting a firearm.”
“The officer, in fear for his safety, fired his duty weapon at the subject and struck him,” the press release said.
The man who was shot by the officer was identified as James “Roe” Williams.
According to police, Williams was taken to an area hospital where he eventually died from the gunshot wounds.
Williams’ wife Marquetta told WOIO they were in their backyard ringing in the new year when the officer opened fire.
“My husband and I both went out there to shoot guns in the air, like everybody does to celebrate,” Williams said.
In the police video, the officer is seen approaching the fence after hearing the gunshots. He then fires away into the fence. No warning or command is heard being given until after the officer pulls the trigger.
Marquetta said her husband was behind the 6-foot-high wooden privacy fence at the time.
“You can’t see in. You can’t see out,” she said. “We didn’t know who it was when it happened because nobody said anything. They didn’t say, ‘Stop, freeze, police!’ Nothing, they just shot him,” she said.
Later in the video, an officer can be heard saying there were multiple firearms found inside the house during a search.
Williams’ wife is now demanding justice, saying her husband was the one placed in an unsafe situation by police.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the incident. The circumstances leading up to the shooting are still being determined, a spokesperson said.
The Williams family held a vigil Wednesday night in front of their home. Marquetta said that plans for protests are in the works.
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