Manitoba

Chad Williams was hit with a Taser before being shot by Winnipeg police, witness says

Storm Raduenz said he watched Winnipeg police shoot Chad Williams in a vacant lot across the street from his Sherbrook Street apartment last Friday.

'I haven't stopped shaking for three days': Man says he's traumatized after watching fatal shooting

Chad Williams, 26, was shot by police on Sherbrook Street between Sargent Avenue and Ellice Avenue on Jan. 11. He was rushed to hospital and later died. Police said Williams had a weapon and officers were forced to shoot him. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Storm Raduenz was at home watching TV last Friday when he heard several sirens. He said it sounded like there were a lot of police cars in his neighbourhood so he got off the couch and went to the window.

"I knew it was something serious cause you never hear that many cop cars coming in all at once around there," he said.

When Raduenz looked outside he said he saw a number of police officers pointing their guns at a man in a yard across the street from his apartment. 

"I saw him basically standing by the house, in front of the house. He walked over by, in front of the fence there, he put his arms up, he gently put his arms down really fast and then that's when they shot him," said Raduenz.

Seconds after he looked out the window, the man was shot.

"It happened really fast."

Winnipeg police said just before 8 p.m. on Jan. 11, officers came across a man near Sargent Avenue and Maryland Street who was acting suspiciously. The man took off but officers ran into him again in a nearby vacant lot. Police allege the man pulled out a weapon and officers shot him. He was taken to hospital and later died.

That man has since been identified as 26-year-old Chad Williams.

Court documents reveal in 2016 Chad Williams was Tasered by police after he refused to drop a tire iron in one hand and four-foot metal bar in the other. He was high on meth and the time and told officers to shoot him. (Photo submitted by family)

Police used Taser first

Raduenz said police were shouting at Williams but his window was frozen shut so he couldn't hear what they were saying. He also believes officers used a Taser at some point before the shooting, but he didn't see it.

"I know a Taser was used too because the Taser wire was hanging from one of the officers' belt," said Raduenz.

He said Williams was wearing black sweatpants and a dark coloured hoodie, but said it could have been a jacket. He said it was just seconds from the time he looked out the window to the time Williams was shot. But in that time, Raduenz said he saw Williams put his hands up overhead like he was giving up, then he quickly brought them down and was shot.

It was dark out, and there are trees between the vacant lot where Williams was shot and Raduenz's apartment, which is approximately 40 metres away. Still, Raduenz is adamant Williams was unarmed.

Storm Raduenz said he watched Winnipeg police shoot Chad Williams in a vacant lot across the street from his Sherbrook Street apartment last Friday. (Submitted)

"If he had something in his hands you'd think you'd see it. I could see their guns. If you had something in your hands — a weapon — you'd be pointing it at somebody," said Raduenz.

Court documents show in 2016 Williams was Tasered by police after he refused to drop a tire iron he held in one hand and a four-foot metal bar he held in the other. He was high on meth at the time and told officers to shoot him. At his sentencing hearing Williams told a judge, "I was looking to just end my life right there."

Raduenz said even if Williams did have a weapon in this latest enounter with police, officers didn't have to shoot him.

"They could have backed off and talked to him. They could have Tasered him a couple more times. It should not have ended like that."

Raduenz said the shooting has left him traumatized.

"I haven't stopped shaking for three days inside. Every time I hear a siren around my place I wake up," he said.

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba is investigating.

About the Author

Caroline Barghout

Reporter, CBC Manitoba

Caroline began her career co-hosting an internet radio talk show in Toronto and then worked at various stations in Oshawa, Sudbury and Toronto before landing in Winnipeg in 2007. Since joining CBC Manitoba as a reporter in 2013, she has won an award for her work on crowded jails and her investigation into Tina Fontaine's death led to changes in the child welfare system. Email: caroline.barghout@cbc.ca