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Johnstown shooting victim's family calls on community to take a stand

By: Maria Miller

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- Investigators and family members are looking for answers as to why a deadly shooting happened over the weekend in Johnstown's Oakhurst neighborhood. The victim was training to be one of Johnstown's finest. Now, his would-be peers have tracked down three suspects involved with the shooting.

"We had a witness come forward and provide us with some information and pointed us in the right direction towards the suspects," said Johnstown Police Chief Craig Foust.

One man, Richard Cook, 21, is in custody. Police are still looking for Fidel Cosby, 16, and Jaquan Watson, 19. Investigators said the victim, Tyrone Williams, asked the men if they had seen a friend he was looking for. That's when police said they punched Williams and then all three shot at him with separate guns.

Investigators told William's family that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

His family visited the shooting scene Tuesday and saw the memorial for the first time. Some of them collapsed in grief, others fought through tears. His mother told 6 News she never thought she would be burying one of her children, especially to murder.

As Johnstown detectives continued their investigation Tuesday, checking out new leads in Oakhurst, dozens of people gathered just up the hill to mourn the loss of their father, brother, son and friend.

"He was laughter. He was just silly," said Chappela Conyers, William's sister. "He was a good person."

"He was the jokester of the family. Our brother, he was the entertainer," said another sister, Angel Kingsberry. "He was loved by everybody who knew him."

A memorial now lies where Wlliams was gunned down. He leaves behind five children, a brand new grandbaby and a large family struggling to understand why it was his life that was cut so short.

"He was a good guy in the academy. He would have graduated next month from the police academy. This is what he wanted to do," Douglas said.

Williams is from New Jersey, but his family tells us he moved to Johnstown for a better life, hoping to get into law enforcement so he could help others. It's a goal his instructors told 6 News he would have completed next month.

"He was going to make it I think. He was a good student," said Bill Richards, instructor and director at the Johnstown Regional Police Academy. "He wanted to make a difference, especially with the youth in his community."

Instead, a police blue line ribbon now sits at Williams' desk at the academy in Richland Township.

"We often start out separate and as individuals, but as we go through the class we become a team," Richards said.

On Tuesday, police made an arrest but are still searching for two others -- three people accused of firing separate shots, killing Williams.

"Please if anybody seen anything cause my son did not deserve this. Nobody deserved this," Douglas said. "Nobody deserved being shot down multiple times for no reason."

"Just put yourself in our position. What if it was one of your family members and you needed helped for closure? Wouldn't you want help also," asked Conyers.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jaquan Watson and Fidel Cosby can remain anonymous and should call police.


 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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