Vigil held for man fatally shot by Canton police after firing gun on New Year’s Day

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Published: Jul. 16, 2022 at 10:41 PM EDT
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CANTON, Ohio (WOIO) - A vigil was held Saturday near the Stark County Courthouse for James “Roe” Williams, 46, who was killed by Canton police after firing a gun on New Year’s Day.

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

Previously released body camera footage showed the moments leading up to the deadly police shooting.

Canton Police Chief Jack Angelo previously said the officer feared for his safety prior to shooting Williams, who was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital.

Williams’ wife, Marquetta, was joined by three of the couple’s six children and members of the Canton community determined to keep her husband’s name and the circumstances of how he died in the public eye.

“Every month I have a vigil on the 13th of each months, it’s his birthday. So, it’s a celebration of life not death. Today, was just a special day that we wanted to come out to make sure nobody forgot what happened on January 1st.”

Marquetta went on to say nearly eight months later she feels no closer to answers or justice for her husband.

She wants to move from the home where her husband died because she can’t forget the events of that night.

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

The family says the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has completed the investigation into James Williams’s death, but the details have not been made public.

“It’s in the prosecutor’s hands so we are just waiting to hear from the prosecutor or BCI to know what’s going on,” Marquetta said.

The Williams family has filed a lawsuit but feel hurt, angry and disrespected that the officer who fatally shot Williams is back at work.

“We’re angry,” Marquetta said. “Why are you still working? You’re supposed to be on paid administrative leave, that’s what the city promised us, that’s now what’s happening. You’re still living day to day. We’re still grieving. We’re still frustrated and angry.”

James Williams’ youngest daughter Ja’lia, who is just 9 years old, says she misses her daddy’s hugs and kisses.

“When I was a baby I pretended I didn’t know how to walk because I wanted him always to carry me,” she said.

Williams’ children left behind are giving his wife a reason to fight and carry on.

“These are the things my kids miss, these are the things I miss, we just ask that you pray for us to get thru this.”

This story is ongoing and will be updated as more details are relased.

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