GPD officer shoots man after chase in SE Gainesville


Gainesville police work the scene of a shooting by a Gainesville Police Department officer after a car chase that ended at Southeast 73rd Terrace and Southeast Sixth Avenue near Newnans Lake Thursday.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 2:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 4:03 p.m.

A man who friends say was "in the wrong place at the wrong time" was shot by a police officer Thursday afternoon following a chase through east Gainesville.

GPD spokesman Officer Ben Tobias did not release the man's name on Thursday night, but friends and witnesses identified him as Ronnie Keith Williams, 24.

Williams was taken to Shands at the University of Florida, where Tobias said he was listed in critical condition. He had gunshot wounds to the head, shoulder and hand, according to a radio report by an EMT transporting him to the hospital.

Tobias declined to identify the officer involved in the shooting, but said he is a two-year veteran of the force who works patrol. The officer will be placed on administrative duty assignment pending an investigation.

The incident started around 1:25 p.m. when officers responded to a disturbance call at 1124 NE 24th Terrace.

Tobias said Williams tried to flee the area and drove his vehicle at a GPD officer, who was able to jump out of the way.

Witnesses gave a different account.

Lakasia Small told The Sun the incident started before Williams arrived. She said Williams came out of a house around the corner from where the dispute was taking place and got into his car.

A female GPD officer had arrived by then and told Williams to wait, saying she wanted to make sure he wasn't a part of the dispute.

Then, Small said, a male officer arrived. He drew his sidearm and stood in front of Williams' car, yelling at Williams to stop.

Delshun Brown, 32, also a neighbor, said the officer walked from the front of the car to the side with his weapon drawn.

Williams asked the officer what he had done, Brown said, and the officer answered that Williams didn't need to know what he did, he just needed to stop.

Both Brown and Small said Williams then sped off. They said there were no police officers in front of his car at that point.

Police chased Williams out of the cul-de-sac and eventually several miles east on East University Avenue to the 400 block of Southeast 73rd Terrace, Tobias said.

The chase came to an end in the neighborhood near Newnan's Lake. An officer fired multiple shots into Williams' vehicle and it crashed into the woodline, Tobias said.

A witness on Southeast Sixth Avenue declined to give her name, but said, "I saw this black car reverse on my dirt road and head toward the cop car. (The officer) told him to stop the car and turn the vehicle off but he kept going and they shot him."

Tobias could not say whether Williams was armed.

Back at Northeast 24th Terrace, Trel Ross, who said he was a friend of Williams', said, "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Ross said Williams recently got out of prison, and had a child on the way. He said Williams was trying to pick up the pieces after prison and worked as a cook in a midtown restaurant.

"He was a good dude trying to stay out of trouble," Ross said.

According to Florida Department of Corrections records, Williams was sentenced to three years in prison in February 2010 on several offenses committed in 2009 — including weapons, fleeing law enforcement and cocaine possession.

He was released from prison on Oct. 14 after serving a little more than two years in the Marion Correctional Institution in Ocala.

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