(Bobby Rosinski, WRHI, ROCK HILL)
Rock Hill Police came out Friday afternoon with their first official comments on the shooting death of 15-year-old armed robbery suspect Yvette Williams.
Police Chief John Gregory gave this account of how events transpired Thursday afternoon after the robbery at Park Grocery. “One of the 9-1-1 callers followed Yvette Williams for blocks, giving police information. Police located Miss Williams running down the sidewalk.”
The teen was shot and killed by police. Rumors have said Williams was holding a BB gun and not a real gun when shot by officers. Chief Gregory responds to that. “If it had been a water pistol, or whatever, it really doesn’t matter. I think you understand the threat of a weapon. This weapon was used to commit an armed robbery at Park Grocery, where the clerk repeatedly said, ‘Please don’t shoot me.'”
Gregory adds officers Carlos Culbreath and Claude McCarley acted appropriately in the shooting of armed robbery suspect Yvette Williams. Both officers are currently on administrative leave.
Gregory says it’s an emotional case for the entire community. “I can only imagine how the community feels about this. But I think the community understands that law enforcement officers can be killed, and residents in the community can be killed, regardless of their age, ethnicity or sex. This issue is complex because we’re human beings, I’m a human being. This is a young girl.”
This side note – Officer Culbreath is African American, Officer McCarley is White, The shooting victim was African American.