FAYETTEVILLE POLICE COMPLETE INTERNAL INVESTIGATION

12/07/2009

Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor today released information regarding the internal investigation into the shooting incident involving Matthew Andersen. 

Per police department policy, an internal investigation is completed after a deadly force incident resulting in serious physical injury or death.  The internal investigation revealed Detective David Williams, an 11-year veteran of the department, responded to Arvest Bank, 1113 N. Garland after the police department received a 911 emergency reporting a robbery in progress. 

The suspect, who was reported to be in a white passenger car in the bank’s drive through, presented a note to a bank employee demanding money.  The note implied accomplices were present watching the bank’s entrances and that if the robbery demands were not met, the employees "were in for a painful experience." 

Upon the officers’ arrival they located the suspect near the drive through window and announced their presence.  The suspect began backing away from Detective Williams blocking the front side of his vehicle.  In doing so, the suspect nearly struck two other officers who had responded to the scene.  Despite officers’ warnings to stop and show his hands, the suspect then began ramming an occupied vehicle behind his car several times in a desperate attempt to escape.  Due to the suspect’s reckless actions with seemingly no regard for the safety of those around him, Detective Williams fired his service weapon a total of three times at the suspect to stop the threat.  The suspect was wounded as a result of the shooting and his injuries proved fatal.  No officers were injured during the altercation.   

The department’s policy on use of deadly force states an officer may use deadly force to protect him or others if he has reasonable belief of immediate threat of death or serious physical injury.  The internal investigation revealed Detective David Williams did not attempt to use deadly force until such time he realized Andersen was not going to respond to their commands and began ramming the vehicle of an innocent bystander. Detective Williams, as well as other officers present, felt that the potential threat to them and others present by Mr. Andersen’s reckless actions called for the use of deadly force to end that threat.

The internal investigation has revealed no policy violation occurred and exonerated Detective David Williams in his use of deadly force in this incident.  The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its independent investigation of this incident, the reports of which will be forwarded to Washington County Circuit Prosecutor John Threet for review.