Thursday’s shooting death of a 15-year-old armed robbery suspect was justified. That’s the announcement from the word from York County Solicitor Kevin Brackett, who held a press conference Wednesday and showed video of from the in-dash camera on board a police car to members of the media.
Brackett said the gun Yvette Williams was using was a realistic-looking BB gun and it was clearly evident in the video that she was pointing it at police, who commanded Williams to drop the gun several times. “She was pointing the weapon at him before he ever got out of the car. He still got out of his car. And under the law, he had every right to fire the shots he fired. And he had a right to continue firing until the threat was over.”
A total of 12 shots may have been fired at Williams, but she was hit three times. Williams was later pronounced dead at Piedmont Medical Center. Two officers who shot Williams are on administrative leave pending the conclusion of a State Law Enforcement investigation. The video will not be released to the public.
Brackett says Williams’ death, while tragic, was within full reach of the law. “As she falls to the ground, she sits back up in a semi-sitting position, and her arm is pointing up with a gun in it. The second volley of shots knocked her on her back and according to the officer the gun landed on her left. You can see she’s still moving. Her legs come up and her arms come up. There’s a tree that partially blocks where she’s at so you can’t see everything. But the officer said that she attempted to roll over and as she rolled she attempted to grab the gun, and the final two shots were fired.”
Rock Hill Police Chief John Gregory says the incident was a tragedy on both sides. “The tragedy is on both sides, within the family, and within the Rock Hill Police Department. For officers McCarley and Culbreth, it’s tragic. They’ll have to deal with it for the rest of their lives. It’s absolutely clear that they did the right thing, but they’ll have to deal with the consequences of it for the rest of their lives.”
Both officers are on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Thanks to Reporter Andrew Keil, WRHI, Rock Hill