SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Shreveport city employee who was shot while trying to deescalate a conflict shared his thoughts on juvenile crime and why everyone in the community is responsible for ending it.
Ernest “Elaw” Williams is an employee of Shreveport Parks and Recreation, and he was shot in the arm while trying to calm a verbal dispute Wednesday evening at Bilberry Park.
Williams said a group of teens got into a verbal dispute as they played basketball. SPAR employees decided to shut down the inside of the gym to let them cool down. But once outside, fought multiple times.
“As some of the boys were leaving, one of the boys decided he hadn’t had enough and went to his vehicle and got his gun. He walked towards the other boys, not pointing the gun but down by his side, and it was at that point that I decided, hey, this dude does not understand that you will get shot. Your gun is down by your side. He looked like he was trying to frighten them, and I knew something bad was going to happen, ” Williams said.
Williams decided to put himself between the two young men, and then he was shot.
“So I tried to warn him or at least divert his walking, but before I could get done, the people who saw him coming shot. I assumed they were shooting at him, but I caught it,” Williams said. “I don’t consider myself a victim of it but a person that’s in charge of helping prevent it.”
Williams spoke about SPAR’s mission to interact with youth and make a difference in their lives.
“Let them know what we expect of them, hold them accountable, and realize there is a danger,” Williams said.
Williams is also a local DJ known as “Elaw” and said it’s important to step up as a male figure in the community.
“I don’t want to see anybody get hurt. But when you see a young man that just got here on this planet. You know I was 17-18 and thought I knew some stuff but found out later I didn’t,” Williams said. “We used to look to the old heads when we were young. Hey man, what do I need to do? What should I be into? What should I not do? What’s your experience? I’m the old generation now. I can’t run from those situations.”
Williams wants other adults to get more involved in their neighborhoods.
“We’re always going to be looking toward police or the administration or somebody else to fix the problem. But if we got kids in the community and you’re that adult in that community, you are responsible whether you accept that responsibility or not.”
“If you want it to be better, you’re going to have to do something along with the police, church, and community activists. That is the only long-term solution,” he said.
Williams plans to go back to work on Monday.
Police have not arrested the teen who shot him. But witnesses were interviewed, and the investigation is ongoing.