Former COD football player shot and killed at Indiana hospital

  • Jamal Williams, a psychiatric patient who was shot and killed Tuesday at an Indiana hospital, had played football for the College of DuPage.

    Jamal Williams, a psychiatric patient who was shot and killed Tuesday at an Indiana hospital, had played football for the College of DuPage.

 
Associated Press
Updated 6/17/2020 9:39 AM

MUNSTER, Ind. -- A retired sheriff's deputy and a psychiatric patient who was former football player at College of DuPage were both killed when another security guard opened fire on the patient during a struggle, authorities in Indiana said Tuesday.

Authorities initially said the patient, identified by the Lake County, Indiana, coroner's office as Jamal Williams, 22, of South suburban Lansing disarmed and fatally shot Ryan Askew and was then killed by the second security guard. But they later said Williams never gained control of Askew's gun or fired the weapon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The incident began when security was alerted that a psychiatric patient at Community Hospital in Munster was threatening the staff, said prosecutor Bernard Carter. When security arrived, Williams attacked a nurse, Carter said.

Askew tried to intervene but was overpowered by Williams, who was described by authorities as standing at 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing 300 pounds. Williams played football last season at Western Michigan University after transferring from the College of DuPage, where he had 31 tackles and 6 sacks as a sophomore.

In a tweet Tuesday, the College of DuPage football program said: "Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the Williams family. We loved Jamal, and he loved us. God Bless Jamal. Much Love to his former teammates. We are here for you."

Carter said Benny Freeman, another retired Lake County deputy working security at the hospital, opened fire after Askew begged Freeman to shoot as Williams was choking him to near unconsciousness. The gunfire caused the deaths of both men.

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Askew, 59, of Crown Point, died at Community Hospital, the coroner's office said.

Freeman is a former jail warden and Lake County SWAT team member and previously served as the sheriff's department's sharpshooter and sniper.

The sheriff said his department was in shock that one of their own retired officers was gone. Martinez said he said he knew both officers and called them "great guys." The other officer's name wasn't immediately released.

"As a young officer myself, I trained under these guys as a rookie. This is just shocking. Our whole department will be suffering from this loss," he said.

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