Joe Williams was killed in a gunfire exchange with police outside a Fort Worth gas station. He asked the clerk to call 911 while pacing the store with a gun.
FORT WORTH, Texas — A Fort Worth Mother is looking for answers surrounding the surprise behavior of her husband as she tries to comfort their children. It was love at first sight when Brittany Williams met Joe Williams back in 2011. But now, her life seems upside down.
“I’m grieving. I’m hurt,” said Brittany Williams.
Williams has questions about what led to her husband getting fatally shot by Fort Worth police. Some of those questions come from their children, also hurt and sat with her during our interview.
“I tell them to pray even when they feel like there’s not nothing more they can do,” Williams said.
At about 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 16 , James Williams stayed in the car as his brother Joe Williams went inside the Northeast 28th Street QT gas station. Store security video shows Joe Williams pacing in the store with a weapon. The clerk called 911 at his request.
CLERK: “He’s walking around with his hand on the trigger, and he’s asking me to call y’all.”
DISPATCHER: “And he asks where we are?”
CLERK: “He asks if y’all were coming. And I said, Yeah.”
The 31-year-old called his wife while waiting on officers to arrive at the QT. He apologized to her. Brittany shared what her husband said next during their phone call.
“He told me, ‘baby, I love you,'” said Brittany Williams. “All I know is I kept telling him I loved him. Baby, come home. Come home to us. Come out to your kids. And all of a sudden, I heard the gunshots. I said, Baby, what’s wrong? What’s going on? What’s going on? And then he kept the phone, the whole time until got outside.”
Officers from the Fort Worth Police Department arrived at the QT and ordered customers at the gas pump to leave for their own safety. During the exchange of gunfire, officers shot Williams, rendered CPR, but he did not survive. Security video shows Williams exiting the store firing a handgun. His behavior made no sense either to his father and brother.
Joe’s brother, James Williams, was sitting in the car when he realized the chaos at the QT involved his brother. He ran towards Joe Williams hoping to reach him before it was too late.
“I was trying to reach my brother,” James Williams said. “I couldn’t talk to my brother. He had already been hit and on the floor as I jumped out the vehicle.”
James and Joe were close, and it was no surprise the two were together that night. But James didn’t pick up on anything that would lead him to believe their time together would end with Joe dead.
“We did everything together. Football, basketball, video game. He was amazing,” said James Williams, “I just wanted people to know that my brother, he was a very energetic person. He was a positive person and didn’t like negativity.”
The Williams watched the video released by Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes, which outlines the moments before, during and after officers arrived at the QT gas station. The video includes edited bodycam footage from officers.
When the father of Joe Williams watched the video, it helped him better understand what happened to his son. The grieving father told WFAA that when he watched the video, it didn’t seem as though he was watching the son he raised because of the behavior. He wonders what pushed his son to act out.
Jerry Williams said, “He was trying to say, I need help. But that wasn’t the kind of help that he was looking for. I’ll be glad when this Trinity Spring gets built over at JPS.”
Trinity Springs Pavillion offers 24-hour mental health and psychiatric services. According to Mayo Clinic, some mental health warning signs include feeling sad, confused thinking and excessive fears or worries. Brittany Williams said there are not any signs she picked up on in her husband’s behavior
“My husband was funny, goofy. He loved his kids. Humble, sweet personality,” Brittany Williams said, “I don’t know what was wrong with my husband.”
Despite financial challenges to cover the cost of a funeral, the Williams family has scheduled the funeral for Joe Williams for 1:00 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 30 at New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church.
People concerned about family members can reach out for help here.