TUNKHANNOCK – Wyoming County District Attorney Jeffrey Mitchell has determined no criminal charges will be filed against Overfield Township police officer Mark Papi in the shooting death of Brian Williams.
Papi shot Williams while attempting to serve a mental-health commitment warrant Nov. 7, 2012, after Williams attacked him with a poker.
According to the press release, Papi, officers from other municipalities and state police attempted to serve the warrant, issued because Williams had allegedly threatened to kill his wife, at Williams' Lake Winola residence.
Police set up a perimeter to prevent an escape while Tunkhannock Township Police Chief Stanley Ely talked with Williams, who would stick his head out a basement door. Williams became increasingly agitated and was adamant that he would not be taken into custody for mental-health treatment.
Six officers, including Papi, gathered at the front door after getting a key from the family. The officers entered and went downstairs, where Williams was in a bedroom with the door closed.
They asked him repeatedly to come out.
Tunkhannock Borough officer Robert Roberts pushed against the door with his shield, with Papi behind him. According to the press release, the door gave way and the officers fell into the room. From the momentum Officer Roberts fell into Williams and Williams fell onto the bed.
The room was about 10 feet by 15 feet.
William began to swing a metal poker at the officers, who fired tasers at Williams three times to subdue him with little effect. Some taser points either missed Williams or did not penetrate his clothes.
Papi repeatedly ordered Williams to drop the poker but he did not, and Papi drew his weapon.
Williams stepped toward Papi, and Roberts and began a swinging motion with his right arm where the poker would come down on top of Papi, the release said. Both offers were below Williams and neither Williams (n)or Papi were wearing helmets.
Papi fired twice; Williams fell onto the bed and rolled onto the floor, and officers attempted to revive him.
A report for a Nov. 8 autopsy indicated one bullet entered and exited the right hand, lodging in Williams' right arm. The other entered the right arm, exited and perforated the right lung, lodging in the heart.
The District Attorney's Office determined Papi acted in self-defense pursuant to the law and shall not be prosecuted for a criminal offense.
The office offered condolences to the Williams family and concluded that while there was no criminal intent to kill Mr. Williams, mistakes were made while serving the mental-health warrant. In the hope that this tragedy will not be repeated, this office will be meeting with the police departments involved.