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Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Investigates Law Enforcement Involved Shooting

Media, Pa – Today Delaware County District Attorney Kat Copeland, along with Trainer Police Chief Fran Priscopo, and Lower Chichester Police Chief Tom Gaspari, held a press conference outside Linwood District Court to update the public regarding a law enforcement involved shooting. The investigation was conducted by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Special Investigations Unit.

On June 27, 2019, at approximately 11:08 p.m., Darren Lamar Williams, 34, of the 600 block of West 2nd Street in Chester, was stopped by a Trainer Police officer after Williams was observed driving recklessly, crossing the double yellow lines. The officer activated his emergency lights and pulled the vehicle over. Investigation revealed that Williams had stolen the vehicle the day before while in the City of Chester. Williams appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and a controlled substance and failed field sobriety tests. Williams was advised that he was going to be placed under arrest and immediately became combative, taking a bladed stance towards the officers. Williams ignored all commands to place his hands behind his back and began struggling with four law enforcement officers on scene when they attempted to place him in custody. Williams pulled away and again took an aggressive stance. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to subdue Williams, an officer deployed his Taser and officers were then able to subdue Williams and take him into custody. A search of Williams’ car revealed a bag containing suspected controlled substances, specifically a glassine bag of white-powder substance. Williams was cleared by EMS and submitted to testing of his blood. Williams was housed overnight pending his arraignment. Williams was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, and related summary motor vehicle offenses.

An investigation by law enforcement revealed that there were two active warrants for Darren Lamar Williams; one warrant for the stolen vehicle and one warrant for terroristic threats emanating from Claymont, Delaware. Law enforcement from Claymont, Delaware reported that at approximately 5:45 p.m., on June 27, 2019, Williams threatened to kill two individuals. Witnesses reported that Williams appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance at the time and that he used phencyclidine (PCP).

On June 28, 2019, at approximately 10 a.m., Williams was transported by a Trainer Police Officer to Linwood District Court to be arraigned. Upon arrival at court, Williams was taken into the holding cell pending his arraignment and his handcuffs were removed when he was placed in the cell. At approximately 10:30 a.m., Williams was arraigned by the Court and his bail was set. Williams was unable to post bail, and a pending probation violation detainer was also lodged. A Trainer police officer and a Pennsylvania state constable proceeded to the holding cell area to arrange for Williams’ transport to George W. Hill Correctional facility. When the officer and constable opened the cell door, Williams pushed past them, fleeing out of the building and into the parking lot. With the officer and constable in pursuit, Williams suddenly stopped, turned towards the officer, and swung at him. Williams and the officer then engaged in a physical struggle, resulting in them falling to the ground with Williams on top of the officer. The officer attempted to gain custody of Williams, and Williams violently resisted. While the two of them struggled, the constable tased Williams. The taser had appeared to have no impact on Williams. Williams then grabbed the officer’s firearm and told the officer, “I got your gun.” The officer attempted to regain control of the firearm, and during this violent struggle, Williams, while attempting to shoot the officer, fired the weapon, striking himself in the stomach. Simultaneously, the constable shot Williams twice. Additional law enforcement officers and EMS arrived on scene. Williams was pronounced dead by EMS personnel.

The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Special Investigations Unit, Crime Scene Unit, and additional CID detectives responded to the scene to conduct the investigation. Multiple witnesses were interviewed and surveillance video of the incident was obtained.

“Today, while tragically a life was lost, our Delaware County law enforcement officers showed great courage,” said District Attorney Kat Copeland. “At the risk of losing their own lives while protecting numerous innocent bystanders, they engaged in a violent struggle with a man who had an extensive criminal history, including firearms offenses and acts of violence. Every single day our law enforcement officers put their lives at risk to protect our community, and today was no different.”