EVERETT, Wash. — Shelly Williams called our newsroom and asked to tell her story. She said it was her son who shot and killed a man who she said was threatening her, her 18-month-old granddaughter and another woman.
“So terrifying, yes. The most terrifying thing I’ve ever been through in my life,” she told us.
Williams and her granddaughter were about to cross the road and walk along popular Silver Lake in Everett on Tuesday afternoon.
She saw a man on his bike, walking his German Shepard dog and screaming at a female jogger.
“He just ran into her with the bike, knocked her down, tried to grab her and throw her out into the traffic, and then proceeded off on his bike,” she said.
Williams ran to help and urged the woman to call the police. That’s when the man came back to confront them.
“He looked back and saw her grab her cellphone and then he started yelling at us, saying we were the devil and Satan, and she assaulted him, and don’t call the police,” she said.
Howard Rhody and a friend heard the screaming.
“He’s got a baton, and he’s going after a woman and a baby girl?” Rhody said.
Williams called her 28-year-old son, who lives close by.
“So I called my son and, of course, I was hysterical and said, ‘You need to get over here now. He’s going to beat us up. You know he’s going to beat us up,’” she said.
The assailant had already pepper-sprayed one of the men who tried to help.
Williams’ son arrived with a gun to protect her and the baby. She said the assailant quickly pulled the black pepper spray canister from behind his back.
“In the time he pepper-sprayed, my son had a gun in his hand, and the gun went off. He never intentionally meant to shoot at him or anything. It just went off because he got pepper-sprayed. He couldn’t see. He was kind of shocked that all that happened,” Williams said.
Williams shares the sadness that led people to create a small memorial for the dead man.
“We’re all having a really hard time. We’re really devastated by what happened and how it happened,” she said.
The medical examiner’s office has yet to release the name of the man who was killed.
Everett police told us that they need to finish their investigation before making any recommendation on the charges.
Cox Media Group