Police shooting of Jai Williams justified, district attorney says

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – The Asheville Police Officer who shot and killed an armed man back in July will not face criminal charges.

The Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office said during a 2:00pm news conference that the shooting was justified.

Investigators say they interviewed about two dozen witnesses but the decision to not prosecute Officer Tyler Radford came down to two women who saw everything unfold.

District Attorney Todd Williams says the incident unfolded on July 2 when Jai Williams, his girlfriend, her one-year-old child, and her sister went to retrieve a stolen cell phone from someone at the Pisgah View Apartments in Asheville.

According to the DA, Williams threatened the person in possession of the phone via text message. Once he arrived at the scene, investigators say Williams fired shots in the air as he demanded the person turn over the phone. That’s when neighbors called police.

Williams then left the complex. Police, who by then responded to the call, followed in hot pursuit. Williams’ girlfriend urged him to stop the car.

“She told Williams to pull over,” says the District Attorney, “Williams refused to stop and stated that he was not going to jail.”

Investigators say when Williams left the car at another apartment complex, the gun fell out as police arrived.

“She [Williams’ girlfriend] say Mr. Williams pick the gun up as he faced the officer and acted like he was going to shoot. That’s her statement. The officer then shot Mr. Williams,” the DA says.

According to his girlfriend, Officer Tyler Radford rendered aid and emergency assistance to Williams.

7News reached out to the family of Jai Williams but they declined to speak at this time but say they may have a statement later in the evening.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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