Chief: Officer on paid leave after shooting robber armed with BB gun

spedersen@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 19, 2013 

Mike Haskey mhaskey@leder-enquirer.com

MIKE HASKEY — mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

Patrol officer Travis Contreras has been on paid-administrative leave since last week when he shot and killed a robber armed with a BB gun, according to Police Chief Ricky Boren.

Willie James Williams, 27, was transported to Midtown Medical Center Wednesday night after police say he was involved in an armed robbery. He died Thursday morning.

Boren said Tuesday that Williams was armed with a BB gun that looked like an .45 caliber automatic pistol.

"The weapon that the suspect had looked as real as the one I carry every day," Boren said.

Contreras was awarded in May the Medal of Valor for his performance during a hostage situation earlier this year. It's unclear how long he has been with the city.

At 10:42 p.m. last Wednesday, police received an emergency call concerning an attempted robbery in progress. When police arrived on the scene in the area of Fort Benning Road and Shelby Street, they observed two subjects that fit the given description, according to Lt. Julius Ross.

"When the officer approached the suspects, one subject complied," according to the release, "and the second subject was observed to have a handgun."

The suspect with a weapon refused to drop it and allegedly raised the weapon "… and the officer fired his weapon striking the suspect multiple times."

The second subject allegedly told police he was the victim and was being robbed as the officer arrived.

The GBI and the CPD are investigating the incident. It's standard protocol for the GBI to get investigate officer-involved shootings.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections website, Williams was on parole after spending two stints in prison for numerous charges.

Williams spent four months in prison in 2004 on charges of burglary, possession of tools during the commission of a crime and theft by taking. Less than four years later, he was back in prison, this time for two years and almost eight months, on cocaine charges.

Staff writer Tim Chitwood contributed to this report.

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