Wife of man shot, killed by Canton police officer says husband was put in unsafe situation

Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 10:36 PM EST
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CANTON, Ohio (WOIO) - The wife of a Canton man shot and killed by a police officer on New Years Day is demanding justice, saying her husband was the one placed in an unsafe situation by police.

According to Canton police, officers went to the 2300 block of 10th Street SW on Saturday after getting a call about shots being fired.

Police said an officer confronted a man on scene and that the man started shooting.

Canton Police Chief Jack Angelo said the officer feared for his safety and shot the man.

The man was taken to the hospital where he later died.

He’s been identified by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation as 46-year-old James Williams.

Williams’ wife Marquetta told 19 News that they were in their backyard ringing in the new year when the shooting happened.

“My husband and I both went out there to shoot guns in the air, like everybody does to celebrate,” Williams said.

She said James, known by friends and family as Roe, was behind a 6-foot high wooden privacy fence

“You can’t see in. You can’t see out,” she said.

Marquetta said her husband wasn’t firing at an officer, rather still shooting into the air and even more, didn’t know police were on the other side of their fence.

“We didn’t know who it was when it happened because nobody said anything. They didn’t say: ‘Stop, freeze, police!’ Nothing, they just shot him,” she told 19 News.

Williams said her husband was the one put in the unsafe situation, not the police officer.

“His life was in danger, because you didn’t announce yourself,” Williams said. “That’s cold-blooded and I’m not going to rest until he does get justice, period.”

She told 19 News plans for protests are in the works, along with a vigil for her husband.

A spokesperson for the Ohio BCI said no officers were injured in the shooting.

The officer is on administrative leave, which Canton police said is a common procedure.

Ohio BCI will investigate the shooting, and the spokesperson said their investigation is active and ongoing.

A request for body camera footage has been made by 19 News.

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.

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