- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A police officer wasn’t wrong in shooting and killing a 23-year-old African-American man who pointed a gun at him and two other officers, beckoning them to shoot him, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

At Wednesday’s news conference, Hancock County Prosecutor Jim Davis discussed Ronald Williams Jr.’s May 6 death in Weirton. Williams, whose nickname was “RJ,” was from McKees Rocks, west of Pittsburgh.

Davis said investigations found the Weirton police officer, whom officials have described only as “officer three,” did nothing wrong.

That’s despite an open letter Monday from the Williams family’s attorney saying police tried to cast Williams in a bad light with a “suicide by cop” theory. The letter questioned whether the prosecutors and police were hiding something.

The letter also said an independent autopsy showed that Williams was shot in the back of the head. Davis refuted that, saying Williams was shot behind the ear. Davis also said there was no dashboard or body camera footage, about which the family had inquired.

“The facts are what they are,” Davis said. “It’s unfortunate that this had to occur.”

Davis said Williams’ blood alcohol content was twice the legal driving limit when he left a club May 6. He went to see a woman with whom he previously had a relationship, brought out a gun and threatened to kill himself in front of her and their child, Davis said.

The family’s letter said Williams was in Weirton that day trying to get custody of his 5-month-old boy. He was not violent toward women and didn’t do drugs, the letter said.

“No one is seeking to stir up trouble,” the family’s letter read. “The family is merely seeking some closure, and also to do all they can to prevent other families from feeling this type of pain.”

The woman called 911, Davis said, ending outside the woman’s home with three officers telling Williams to put the gun down. One of the Weirton police officers, a nine-year veteran of the force, shot Williams after he began pointing the gun at the officers, Davis said.

The family’s letter also sought the name of the officer who shot Williams, which Davis did not release. The officer’s race also has not been released.

“I’m referring to these officers as 1, 2 and 3 because none of these officers signed on to shoot anybody or have guns pointed at them that night,” Davis said. The officers’ races have not been released.

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