Former Western Michigan defensive tackle Jamal Williams was shot and killed by a Munster Community Hospital security officer in Munster, Indiana, after he allegedly attacked a nurse. He was 22.
Williams and retired sheriff’s deputy Ryan Eskew were both killed in the shooting. Eskew, who was working security at the hospital, and his partner Benny Freeman responded to a report of Williams attacking a nurse after 1 a.m. Tuesday. Williams was in the hospital as a psychiatric patient.
Per the Lake County Sheriff’s office and the prosecutor, Williams was able to get Askew in a chokehold as the two security officers tried to subdue him after he went after the nurse. Then Freeman fired his gun at Williams and also hit Eskew. He was 59.
[Prosecuter Bernard Carter] said Williams then began striking Askew while keeping him in the chokehold, and Askew began to go in and out of consciousness. Nurses told investigators Askew called out to his partner.
"Askew then related to him, 'Shoot him! Shoot him!' because he saw himself being strangled to death," said Carter.
At that time, Freeman fired twice, striking Williams in the face and Askew in the arm.
The bullet traveled into Askew's chest and he died a short time later, Carter said.
Western Michigan coach Tim Lester released a statement about Williams’ death Tuesday evening.
“The loss of life is tragic,” Lester said. “Today is a sad day. Our thoughts are with everybody involved.”
Williams’ former teammates paid tribute to him on Twitter.
Check on yall people. Rest easy Mal 💔👼🏾 https://t.co/PWLPpZ6m7Y— j.reed5💂🏾 (@JaydenReed5) June 16, 2020
For what we’ve know you to be!! We won’t allow the media (who is trying to demonize you) change who we know you truly were as a person. You were the light of the party, the smile activator, the mood changer..Overall a free/positive spirit who wrote his own story and made it out🕊 pic.twitter.com/RCu3Flv4C6— SL1️⃣M-JXMM1️⃣ (@Jay_Hall19) June 17, 2020
Williams appeared in nine games and had two tackles in 2019 after he didn’t play in a game in either 2017 or 2018. The Chicago native came to Western Michigan after transferring from College of DuPage, where he had 6.5 sacks in 2016.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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