20-year-old Indiana University student shot, killed by stray bullet in Brooklyn

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Sunday, October 25, 2020
Stray bullet kills 20-year-old college student visiting NYC
"He had a massive, massive heart. He loved people a lot," his father told Eyewitness News.

BUSHWICK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A young student who was visiting from Indiana was shot and killed by a stray bullet during his first visit to NYC early Saturday morning in Brooklyn.

Police say 20-year-old Ethan Williams was among friends sitting on a stoop on Eldert Street in Bushwick when at least seven shots were fired.

As the men tried to run inside for cover, officials say Williams was struck in the chest.

The victim was rushed to the hospital but did not survive.

Williams' father said Ethan was a sophomore in the film media program at Indiana University and had a girlfriend of six years.

"One of his big areas of concern was poverty and violence in Indy," his father Jason Williams said

Some of his accomplishments included starting his own brand, graduating high school with four honors diplomas, doing missionary work and being a charter member of the Mayor's Youth Council of Indianapolis.

"He has a massive massive heart, he loved people a lot," Williams said. "There's irony to me that that was the life that was taken. You know, the life of someone that wanted to give his life back to helping people."

His family said Williams had saved all summer for tickets, and finally got the opportunity to come to New York to film a short documentary.

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"As an aspiring film aspiring filmmaker, you know, there are these photography shots he wanted to get only in San Francisco New York had," his father said. "And so he finally got the opportunity go to New York, and he got there this week and they they rented an Airbnb. I don't think they knew a part of town they were in, it was as cheap as, you know, four or five guys you know going in together on it. And he was there and just trying to have fun with his friends."

Williams and his friends rented an Airbnb without researching the area.

It was the 20-year-old's first time in New York. His parents said it is believed that he was pretty much killed instantly from the bullet.

Officials say his friends who were with him on the stoop have spoken to police.

"We want justice for our son, we've been robbed of a future with our boy that we've invested heavily in and love so much," Williams said.

His mother had a message for the person responsible for killing her son.

"They need to understand that their actions have consequences beyond the moment and they need to turn themselves in....give us peace," mother Susan Williams said.

Officers have not yet made any arrests or released information about a possible suspect.

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