https://www.theblaze.com/news/cop-begs-knife-wielding-man-in-standoff

The voice of a DeKalb County, Georgia, police sergeant on bodycam video encapsulated the tragedy that occurred last week.

“I’m begging you,” the sergeant pleaded with a knife-wielding man through a closed door after a 911 call about a reported prowler, WXIA-TV said. “You’re a black man. I’m a black man. You don’t have to die today. I don’t want you to die today.”

Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

Officers begged 35-year-old Matthew Williams at least 47 times to drop the knife he had been holding after lunging at one officer, the station said.

But it was no use. Williams lunged again at police, shots were fired, and Williams’ body was recovered from the premises an hour later, WXIA reported.

Turns out Williams actually lived at the property, the station said.

What are the details?

After police were called to the house Wednesday, a woman can be heard telling officers that “our neighbors that lived there moved out, and the owner has vacated the home to remodel it, so nobody is supposed to be there,” WXIA reported.

Soon officers encountered Williams at the house. “Hey, what’s up, man? What you doin’ around here? You live here?” one officer is heard asking him, the station said. “If you don’t live here, man, I’m just kindly asking you just to leave the property, all right?”


Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

WXIA said bodycam video caught an image of Williams as he walked down the steps:


Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

And police said Williams lunged at an officer with what they described as a blue ceramic knife, the station reported:


Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot


Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

An officer fired one shot, but police said Williams fled into the trees surrounding the house, WXIA reported, adding that an officer said in the bodycam clip that she may have shot Williams in the shoulder.

“Drop the knife, man!” an officer hollers into the woods.

“Drop the weapon! Drop it!” another officers yells.

“We will shoot, man, all right? We gave you ample warnings, all right?” an officer is heard telling Williams.

The station said the video indicates Williams slipped out of view and back into the house, after which police came to the front door.

“Please come out for us, boss man. What’s the problem? How can I help you?” says an officer who identified himself as Sgt. Perry with the DeKalb Police Department.

After a minute, an officer kicks in the door — but it soon closes from the inside, WXIA reported.

“I’m begging you,” the sergeant pleaded with Williams, the station said. “You’re a black man. I’m a black man. You don’t have to die today. I don’t want you to die today.”


Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

WXIA said the exchange went on for nearly two minutes, with Williams saying, “I’m defending my property.”

The station said Perry answered, “Sir, I need you to put the knife down.”

“Let me see [the knife] drop,” the sergeant added, WXIA said. “I can get you an ambulance out here. We can talk about this.”

“I’m defending my property,” Williams repeated.

After another minute, police told the station, Williams lunged at them again with the knife just as one officer was heard saying “we’re here to help you” — and then three gunshots rang out.

The door closed again, WXIA said, and officers withdrew and waited for a SWAT team. Williams’ body was recovered from the house over an hour later, the station reported.

What did the police chief have to say?

DeKalb County Police Chief Mirtha Ramos told WXIA that Williams lived in the house, but police didn’t know that at the time of the 911 call.


Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

“The police will respond to what they know at that moment,” Ramos told the station. “And we don’t what [sic] they knew at that moment besides what we see on the bodycam footage.” She added to WXIA that two investigations regarding the incident are ongoing.

What did Williams’ family have to say?

Williams’ family has indicated they believe he was experiencing a mental health episode at the time of the incident, WXIA said.

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