FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The family of 23-year-old Malik Williams continues to seek answers in his December death in Federal Way.
On Thursday, investigators with the Valley Independent Investigations Team released video of the incident, a police shooting, during the early morning hours of December 31, 2019.
According to investigators, on December 30th at 11:58 p.m. a caller reported sounds of a woman yelling outside of an apartment complex in the 30000 block of 14th South in Federal Way. The caller also heard a man's voice and the sound of a bang, all associated with a car in the parking lot.
It wasn't until 12:17 a.m. when Federal Way Police officers arrived. In the video released on Thursday, it appeared that officers approached the car and interacted with the people inside the car, but they were not obeying commands, investigators said.
According to investigators, that interaction escalated and eventually officers radioed that they had a person at gunpoint. Officers also called for backup.
A short time later, another radio call into dispatch that shots were fired and that two officers were wounded. The officers shot back, killing Williams.
Investigators said a witness heard officers yell "drop the gun" several time before hearing gunfire.
"We don’t have any reason to believe based on what we've seen so far, that it's an unjustified use of force," said Commander Dave Liebman of the Renton Police Department. "But what we do need to find out, because there were a number of rounds that were fired that evening, is who fired which rounds out of which guns. For us to know for sure, we need to wait for the results of the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab."
A 9 mm handgun was found in the car, according to investigators. It wasn't until later when investigators learned that Williams used a wheelchair for mobility. The wheelchair was secured in the back seat with the wheel removed, police said. The windows were tinted and the chair was likely not visible to the officers, according to investigators.
Williams' family wants police to be held accountable for their actions.
"What was the call for? Noise, disturbance. So why do you have to come at gunpoint? For what reason? Just for a dispute," said Contessa Williams, Malik's mother.
The organization Not This Time, which aims to reduce fatal police shootings and change the laws that govern the use of force, stands by the family.
"86 shots into a car with a man who was paraplegic. This is disastrous, and there is no way our community is going to continue to accept the lawlessness of law enforcement officers not de-escalating. We're not gonna stand for it anymore," said Andre Taylor, founder of Not This Time.
Police are awaiting bullet forensic results from the Washington state crime lab. The investigation continues, they said.