Man shot dead by police was involved in similar, 'terrifying' altercation in 2016: court records

A Winnipeg man who was shot dead by police following an altercation last Friday told a court that he was trying to end his life during an incident in 2016 where he threatened police officers with a metal bar and asked them to shoot him, court records show.

'Keep using meth and you're dead,' judge told Chad Williams during court appearance for threatening police

Family has identified 26-year-old Chad Williams as the man shot and killed by Winnipeg police in the West End Friday. Court records show Williams was previously involved in an altercation with police where he threatened officers with metal bars and yelled 'just shoot me.' (Photo submitted by family)

A Winnipeg man who was shot dead by police following an altercation last Friday told a court in 2017 that he was trying to end his life during an incident where he threatened police officers with a metal bar and asked them to shoot him, court records show.

Chad Williams was identified by family members as the 26-year-old man who was shot by police after he allegedly pulled out a weapon while being pursued by officers in the West End.

Police say they chased him after he was spotted acting suspiciously near near Sargent Avenue and Maryland Street around 7:50 p.m. Friday.

When officers made contact with him again in a nearby vacant lot, he pulled out a weapon and police shot him, according to the Winnipeg Police Service.

He was given medical treatment and taken to hospital in critical condition, where he later died, police say.

A similar scenario was described at a sentencing hearing for Williams on Oct. 20, 2017.

Police were on scene in a blocked off an area on Sherbrook Street last Saturday, after a man was shot and killed by Winnipeg police Friday night. (Walther Bernal )

The court was told that Williams led police on a lengthy foot chase the previous fall, in October 2016, during which he told police, "I don't care about the Taser, just shoot me," while holding a metal bar and tire iron above his head.

Police had been called to a home on McGregor Street because Williams was acting erratically, Crown prosecutor Boyd McGill told the court in 2017.

Standing 6-6 tall, it took multiple officers piling on top of Williams to finally arrest him and then drag him into a cruiser car, McGill said.

"This was a long, and presumably for the officers, a terrifying incident for them, that certainly posed some risk to members of the public," McGill said.

'I was looking to end my life' 

During the proceedings, Williams told the court that he was high on meth and "wasn't in the right mindset at the time" of the incident.

"Keep using meth and you're dead," Judge Brent Stewart told Williams in response.

"You won't be back into custody, I can guarantee it."

Stewart added that police exercised a great deal of restraint in only using a Taser on Williams.

"When you come threatening with bars ...  there have been those ones who actually take their gun out and shoot you," he said.

"And that's what you were looking for, I suspect?"

"I was looking to just end my life right there," Williams responded.

Childhood 'a tale of sorrow,' court told 

During the hearing, McGill told the court that Williams's pre-sentence report on his background "tells a tale of sorrow."

He had an extremely difficult childhood, which was marred by abuse and death, McGill said.

He was also left homeless when a fire tore through their Flora Avenue home in January 2011.

Court records show Williams had a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2011.

Last week, his father, Jonathan Williams, said Chad lived with him in Winnipeg's Garden City area and was likely in the West End Friday to visit friends. He doesn't think his son would have been armed.

Jonathan Williams said Chad, a father of two, was in the process of turning his life around. He had been to prison and struggled with addiction, but had given up drugs and was about to start a carpentry apprenticeship, Jonathan said.

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, the province's police watchdog, is investigating the shooting. 

A protest is being planned for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the spot on Sherbrook Street, between Ellice and Sargent avenues, where the shooting happened.