Suspect's girlfriend was witness to deadly officer-involved shooting

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email
Shyknica Stephens, girlfriend of the suspect who was killed. (WRDW-TV)

Shyknica Stephens, girlfriend of the suspect who was killed. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 First at Five / Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Chaz Williams, 21, was killed early Friday morning in an officer-involved shooting. Following a car and foot chase, officers and the suspect ended up at the Fox Den apartments right off of Wrightsboro Road where the shooting happened.

Williams' girlfriend, Shyknica Stephens, witnessed the whole thing.

She was sitting at home early Friday morning when her boyfriend came running through the door.

"He said he was in a wreck, he had been running from the police," she recalled.

Williams was on probation from a cocaine possession charge in 2011 and was driving with a suspended license when officers tried to pull him over.

"He just should've pulled over," she said. "Just go and see what they wanted, but he wasn't that type. He did not want to go back, so he was not gonna stop."

That led to a car chase and a wreck, and Williams running from deputies. All of that then ended in Stephens' apartment off Fox Trace Drive.

"He came in the house," she explained. "[Officers] came, basically threatened to bust down my door, banging at my windows, banging at my door."

That's when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says multiple officers, including five-year veteran Deputy Michael Woodard, entered the apartment looking for Williams.

Stephens says he was attempting to commit suicide.

"They opened up the bathroom door, he was already beginning to cut himself," she said.

Both Stephens and the GBI say Williams had a knife.

"They wouldn't let me see anything else, and I heard gunshots and they escorted me out," she said.

The GBI says Deputy Woodard was the only one to fire and fired multiple shots.

"We have no evidence to support the fact that any wrongdoing was done," said Sheriff Richard Roundtree in a news conference on Friday afternoon.

But most of what happened inside that bathroom is still unknown.

"We'll continue to do interviews," said GBI Special Agent Pat Morgan. "Any witnesses that come forward, if we have to go back and re-interview or talk to any officers involved, we'll do that, and just continue the investigation."

Stephens says she's struggling for answers, too: To questions from the couple's 6-month-old daughter when she's old enough to ask about her father.

"I'm trying to maintain from her," Stephens said. "It's gonna be hard. I mean, she didn't even know him. She's only 6 months. She'll never know him."

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