He Was Shot to Death by Police in His Own Living Room. His Mom and 5 Sisters Want Answers

Zadok Williams' family has been waiting for more than a year for the district attorney's office to release findings from its investigation

Zadok Williams: Matthew Zadok williams and his mother Chris Ann Lewis take a Selfie. 2005. Credit: Courtesy Williams Family
Zadok Williams, with his mother, Chris. Photo: Courtesy Williams Family

It was a beautiful spring day on April 13, 2021, in the Atlanta suburb of Lithonia, and Chris Lewis was enjoying gardening with her three oldest granddaughters.

As they planted garlic and peppers, Chris thought about how she hadn't heard from her 35-year-old son, Zadok Williams, who she usually heard from daily.

She thought about sending one of her five daughters to check on him, but before she could do anything, an officer from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation pulled up in front of her home.

"I was sure they had the wrong house," Chris recalled.

But officers were there to deliver unthinkable news: Her son, an introverted and successful day trader and computer whiz, was shot and killed by police at his home a day earlier.

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He was killed inside the condo he owned, by police responding to a 911 call about "a suspicious man" with a knife "lurking" in the woods in his neighborhood.

In the year since his death, Zadok's mother and five sisters — an attorney and doctor among them — have agonized about how and why it happened.

"There's a world of so many things they could've done, but they chose death," says Chris. "He was just a beautiful soul. That's why I cannot believe that this has happened to him, and then for us to have to fight to get accountability."

They've held more than 50 rallies and created more than 30 videos for their social media accounts and website, where guests are given different options to take action, including donating to the family's GoFundMe page for continued efforts to seek answers. The family is hoping the hashtag #justiceforzadok goes viral — and they're praying that charges will be brought.

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Though the GBI completed a police conduct report last July, that report has not been released, and District Attorney Sherry Boston hasn't announced whether charges are pending.

"The matter remains open, under investigation," says a DA spokesperson.

Zadok Williams: Left to right: Deborah Williams, Chyah Williams, Matthew Zadok Williams, Chris Ann Lewis, Hahnah Williams, Zeporah Williams, Buelah Williams; family photo; June 2011. Atlanta, GA Credit: Courtesy Williams Family
Courtesy Williams Family

On the night of his shooting, police arrived to Zadok's home at about 6 p.m. and spotted him outside working on some pipes with a plumbing tool. Startled, he scrambled inside his home through a kitchen window after having locked himself out.

On bodycam footage released by the DeKalb County Police department, his family watched in horror as officers kicked open his front door and found Zadok hiding behind an ottoman. When he refused to answer their demands to come outside, officers shot at him three times.

It would be 90 minutes before they got medical attention for Zadok, who died from a gunshot wound.

"This has gone beyond my brother — it's about everybody's brother," says his sister Zeporah Williams. "If the officers who shot him can get up and go to work the next day like nothing happened, what does that mean for everyone else who has a son?"

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