91-year-old man charged with aggravated assault - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

91-year-old man charged with aggravated assault

A 91-year-old Lubbock man was released from jail Monday after being charged with two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant.

Willie Williams was taken into custody by the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office after shooting at police officers early Sunday morning. Williams was hospitalized after suffering a gunshot wound near his collar bone during the brief shootout.

Williams' two sons say the entire incident is just a huge misunderstanding and that their elderly father Bill was simply trying to defend himself from who he thought was a burglar. "Now he's in the hospital, it's crazy," said Richard Williams holding back tears.

Initially police received a call for a burglary around 2:30 a.m. at the Parkridge Place Apartments. When police arrived on the scene, officers say the suspect was gone. The officer then sent in his canine to the apartment next to Williams' to make sure it was clear. 

"A subject from a neighboring apartment fired a shot from his apartment directed at the officers; at that point officers did return fire. That suspect was shot once," said Jonathan Stewart, Lubbock Police Department information officer.

One officer had minor injuries after Williams fired his shot gun through his kitchen window. "Basically when the shot was fired from inside the apartment it went through the glass. He had some glass sprayed and hit him in the face," said Stewart.

Richard and his twin brother drove in from Amarillo after hearing their father had been shot. On Sunday evening they were given the keys to their father's apartment and tried to piece together what they thought happened, since police would not let them talk to their father.

"We just couldn't figure out why our dad… he should be in bed you know. He is 91-years-old and has cancer too," said Richard. "Evidently someone broke into his window first, and then realized they had the wrong the apartment."

Through what he's been told by neighbors, Richard says the suspect then broke into the neighbor's apartment connected to his father's. "He probably heard the crashing of the window, he got up, he's old, can't hear and didn't have his glasses," said Richard as he walked through the house demonstrating what he believes his father did. "He was at the corner of the kitchen and basically he shot at an angle. He was just trying to scare whoever was trying to get in."

When Bill fired his shotgun, it was the police officer and not the burglar that was near his window. "Evidently the officers didn't have their red and blue lights on. They told him to drop his weapon and he probably couldn't hear them, so when he didn't drop his weapon they fired four or five times on him and caught him in the shoulder," said Richard.

Minutes later a 911 dispatch worker came across the police scanners telling police she was on the phone with a man who was shot in the chest. "He's in apartment A9, is this your suspect? He wants to come out," said the dispatch operator. "He's advising he thought he was getting broken in to and returned fired."

Bill is still at UMC with non-life threatening injuries and could be charged with attempted capital murder for shooting at the officer. His sons hope the investigation will clear their father of all charges. "I'm sure he was scared. He's an old WWII veteran, and I'm sure he did the only thing he thought he could do to protect himself not knowing who was out there," said Richard.

"If he knew, he wouldn't have been shooting at the cops. It's a bad world we live in isn't it when the good guys get shot and bad guys get away. It's a bad thing," cried Richard.

Police have not made arrests in the burglary.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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