Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


LA Deputy Who Shot And Killed Fred Williams Takes The Fifth In Coroner's Inquest

Screen shot from deputy's body camera video released Friday, Oct. 30 by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.
LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today during our fall member drive.

The L.A. County Sheriff's deputy who shot and killed Fred Williams refused to testify in today's coroner's inquest, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. His partner refused on the same grounds, and two detectives declined to testify, saying doing so would compromise their investigation.

A coroner’s official testified the 25-year-old Williams was shot once in the upper back, and that the bullet struck both lungs and perforated his aorta. A coroner’s investigator testified there were eight bullet casings on the ground when she arrived — suggesting the deputy fired eight times.

After less than three hours, the hearing officer, retired state appeals court justice Candace Cooper, ended the inquest for the day and said she would review sealed documents provided by the Sheriff’s Department before issuing a ruling.

The shooting of Williams on Oct. 16, 2020, was the first caught on a deputy’s body-worn camera. The department had started outfitting deputies with cameras just weeks earlier.

Support for LAist comes from

The department says deputies spotted Williams with a gun in Mona Park in the South L.A. neighborhood of Willowbrook. Video shows one deputy chasing him into a backyard and shooting him as he is jumping over a fence with what appears to be a gun in his hand.

The deputy said Williams had pointed the weapon at him. The video is unclear on that point.

The Williams family's attorney called the inquest a "charade."

Two deputies and two detectives also refused to testify at last November's inquest into the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Andres Guardado by a deputy last June in Gardena.


Support for LAist comes from

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily newsletters. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.