Ethan Williams Indiana University student killed by stray bullet during dream visit to NYC. No arrests.
Williams was said to have been on a ‘dream trip’ to the Big Apple when the tragedy unfolded in Bushwick area of Brooklyn borough.
Police say Williams tried running inside as gunfire erupted but was hit in the chest by at least one stray bullet.
He was taken to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he died.
Police believe Williams was an unintended target of gunfire that came at the group from more than 200 feet away.
The shooter dropped his gun at the scene, law enforcement said.
Witnesses told police a man in a dark-hooded sweatshirt ran from the scene.
Williams was a sophomore at Indiana University and was studying to become a filmmaker, his parents said. They said Ethan Williams was in New York to work on on a short documentary with a film crew.
Speaking to the nypost, the man’s father, Jason Williams said: ‘Ethan would have wanted the shooter to know he’s already forgiven them. He would have wanted to be his friend.’
‘It’s hard to express how much he loved everybody,’ Williams said. ‘He did not know a stranger.’
The family also released a prepared statement to the media, which read: ‘If he had the opportunity to say something to the shooter, we know that he would invite him for a cup of coffee and ask to hear their story.
‘He wanted to make the world a better place’
‘He would forgive without delay. Ethan always saw beyond the surface and took the time to help others feel seen, important and loved. ‘The family appreciates the outpouring of support,’ the statement concluded.
‘We ask for privacy while we grieve and focus on figuring out what the world will look like without Ethan.’
The parents said their son graduated from high school with four honors diplomas and traveled to Africa to do missionary work.
Ethan’ family told how he would always give back to others and had spent some time carrying out missionary work in Rwanda during his high school years.
He even set up an LGBTQ society despite not being gay himself, because he was sick of seeing other students bullied because of their sexual orientation.
His father told how his son had worked on the mayor’s youth council in Indianapolis and was also considering a career in journalism.
Gun violence continues to be a national crisis
Ethan, who had just started his sophomore year at Indianapolis University College, leaves behind two younger siblings.
‘He said people shouldn’t be defined by their worst moments. He wanted to make the world a better place,’ dad Jason said.
It was the young man’s first trip to New York having been enchanted by the place after watching various films and television shows growing up.
‘He was so excited to see New York. He wanted to meet people like he’d seen on TV,’ his father told the Post.
‘They [the friends] felt like they were grown ups and they found this place and felt they’d be fine,’ Williams said. ‘It was just wrong place, wrong time.’
Offered Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett in part, ‘The news that Ethan was killed … in New York City is a tragic reminder that the scourge of gun violence is a national crisis, cutting short the promising future of far too many of our young people.’
No arrests have been made, and no description of the gunman has been released.