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WARNING | Graphic content: Body camera footage released in deadly weekend shooting involving Canton officer

'The officer, who was outside of his vehicle, confronted a subject that began shooting a firearm,' Canton police said.

CANTON, Ohio — Authorities have released body camera footage from a deadly shooting involving a Canton police officer that took place early Saturday morning.

You can watch the body camera footage in the player at the bottom of this story. WARNING: Video contains graphic content.

The footage begins with an officer outside of a home in the 2300 block of 10th Street Southwest shortly after midnight. He can be heard relaying information about his location when rapid gunshots ring out from a fenced-in area nearby.

“The officer, who was outside of his vehicle, confronted a subject that began shooting a firearm,” Canton police said in a press release that was issued Saturday. “The officer, in fear for his safety, fired his duty weapon at the subject and struck him.”

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Authorities say the man was taken to an area hospital, but later died. He has since been identified as 46-year-old James Williams. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the situation.

A woman, who is identified as Williams’ wife, told the Canton Repository that he was shooting celebratory gunfire into the air to ring in the new year.

"Out of the blue, he said he got shot, he got hit," she told the newspaper in an article posted online Monday. "I don't know where it came from. Nobody said anything. They didn't say, 'Police.' They didn't say, 'Freeze.' They didn't say, 'Drop your weapon.' They just shot him."

Attorney General Dave Yost told 3News anchor Sara Shookman, “As much as I can say that video is not a very good looking piece of video, we have to do all of the investigation. We have to find all the facts before we come to a conclusion. I urge everybody in the public, let us do our work.”

The Ohio BCI investigated 62 critical incidents where officers used force last year.

“The key thing is to understand that a body cam, has a particular point of view. It doesn’t show you everything,” Yost added. “It doesn’t show you an awful lot of context for the other facts that go into a determination of whether something was proper or not. Reserve judgement for now. All of the facts are going to come out. I promise.” 

Yost added that the entirety will be posted online once court proceedings are complete. 

WARNING: Video below contains graphic content.

There will be a candlelight vigil for James Williams on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. in the 2300 block of 10th Street SW in Canton. 

Marquetta Jones Williams organized a GoFundMe page to raise money for the families expenses, saying James was a loving father of six daughters, lost tragically after Canton Police shot him, “in cold blood unnecessary, without cause."


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