Sumter, SC (WLTX) - The local prosecutor says Sumter police officers who shot and killed a suspect last December will not be charged in connection with the incident, and that the shooting was justified.
Solicitor Ernest Finney III announced the findings of the investigation into the death of 35-year-old Waltki Williams Wednesday afternoon, and cleared three officers of any potential wrongdoing.
"In my opinion, it's not a tough call," Finney said. "There's no evidence that I have seen that shows the officers used any kind of deadly force that wasn't authorized."
A total of 23 shots were fired, with 19 of them hitting Williams' body.
During his presentation, Finney played multiple police dash cam videos that recorded different portions of the moments that led up to the fatal confrontation. Finney said the videos clearly show Williams had a gun and had his hand on the trigger, and the weapon fired while on the ground.
Finney said the officer kicked the weapon out of his hands after he'd been shot and was on the ground.
All the evidence collected matched the description of the events that officers had provided, Finney said, and despite witnesses who said otherwise, Williams was armed. He also added that the officers did not empty their clips, and all officers had remaining rounds left.
The incident began when police were called to the Sumter Mall for a domestic dispute. Police had said Williams pointed his gun at his girlfriend's car while she was inside.
The girlfriend was 16 years old.
When police arrived Williams drove away and later crashed into two cars. Police chased Williams out of his car, and they say the confrontation ended with an exchange of gunfire.
Finney showed a freeze frame of video that he says actually shows a muzzle flash of the Williams gun as it goes off as officers struggled with the suspect on the ground.
A lawyer for Williams' family says they plan to continue their lawsuit, even after seeing video of the shooting. Finney showed the footage to the them Tuesday.
Attorney Carter Elliott's lawsuit maintains Williams was unarmed, and he says the video didn't appear to show anything in Williams' hand when he first ran from police.