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Canton police video shows officer fatally shoot man who was firing gun on New Year’s Day (graphic)

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 11:13 AM EST
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CANTON, Ohio (WOIO) - The Canton Police Department released body camera video that shows the moments that led up to a deadly officer-involved shooting just after midnight on New Year’s Day.

**WARNING: The video contains graphic and explicit language**

According to the report from the Canton Police Department, officers responded to a 10th Street SW home just after midnight on Jan. 1, 2022 for reports of shots fired in the area.

A responding officer can be seen approaching the area where the shots were being fired from, which appeared to be be coming from behind a privacy fence.

In an initial press release, the Canton Police Department stated:

“When the officer, who was outside of his vehicle, confronted a subject that began shooting a firearm. The officer, in fear for his safety, fired his duty weapon at the subject and struck him.”

The man who was shot by the officer was identified as James “Roe” Williams.

According to police, Williams was taken to an area hospital where he eventually died from the gunshot wounds.

Williams’ wife Marquetta told 19 News they were in their backyard ringing in the new year when the officer opened fire.

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

In the police video, the officer is seen approaching the fence after hearing the gunshots. He then fires away into the fence. However, no warning or command is heard being given by the officer until after the cop pulls the trigger.

Marquetta said her husband was behind the 6-foot high wooden privacy fence at the time.

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

Later in the police video, an officer can be heard saying there were multiple firearms found inside the house during a search.

Williams’ wife is now demanding justice, telling 19 News her husband was the one placed in an unsafe situation by police.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the incident. The circumstances leading up to the shooting are still being determined, a spokesperson said.

The Williams family held a vigil Wednesday night in front of their home. Marquetta told 19 News that plans for protests are in the works.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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