Body camera footage released in fatal shooting of Ohio man on New Year's Day

The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

January 7, 2022, 7:18 PM

Just a few minutes after the clock struck midnight, James "Roe" Williams was fatally shot by police on New Year's Day.

The Canton Police Department has now released body camera footage that shows the moments leading up to the fatal incident as the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation begins its investigation.

Williams, 46, was firing celebratory shots into the air from his rifle just outside his home in Canton, Ohio, on Jan. 1 when police arrived, his wife, Marquetta Williams, told ABC News.

Canton Police said they were called to investigate a shots-fired incident.

In body camera footage, an officer can be heard saying, "I saw the male's head through the fence. After I heard the shots, I got in my cruiser, went up to the porch and I saw him putting the rifle away."

Then, several shots are fired and the officer appears to walk toward the sound. The officer approaches the fence of Williams' home. In the audio of the body camera footage, shots can still be heard. That's when the officer shoots toward the fence and fatally strikes Williams, who, Marquetta said, was on the other side.

PHOTO: A Canton Police cruiser is pictured after a police shooting that left a man dead on Jan. 1 , 2022, in Canton, Ohio.
A Canton Police cruiser is pictured after a police shooting that left a man dead on Jan. 1 , 2022, in Canton, Ohio.
WEWS

According to Marquetta Williams, her husband was bleeding as he walked into their home. Body camera footage then shows Marquetta Williams coming out of the front door, yelling, "My husband's been shot!" Another officer can be heard in the footage noting there are children inside the house.

Officers then ordered all of the people in the house to come out and get on the sidewalk, according to the video.

First aid was administered when Williams was encountered in the home, and he was transported by Canton Fire paramedics to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to officials.

All evidence has been turned over to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, according to the Canton Police Department. The officer involved, who has not yet been named, has been placed on administrative leave.

A statement from the Canton Police Department said the officer was "in fear for his safety" when he shot Williams.

PHOTO: This still image taken from from Canton Police Department body camera video shows officers holding up their weapons before entering a house, Jan. 1, 2022, in Canton, Ohio.
This still image taken from from Canton Police Department body camera video shows officers holding up their weapons before entering a house, Jan. 1, 2022, in Canton, Ohio. James Williams, 46, of Canton, was shot in the chest and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Canton Police Dept. via AP

Marquetta Williams called the shooting "unjustified" and "senseless," adding that the officer shot through a fence that's intended for privacy and hard to see through.

"My husband and my family and my kids are going to get justice," she said. "This could have been avoided."

She described her husband as a "good man" and a loving father.

"All he did was take care of his kids," Marquetta Williams said. "He'd give you the shirt off his back, and they took that away from me and my babies."

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