Courtesy Williams Family

Police officer who shot California teen Hannah Linn Williams to be interviewed by investigators

July 09, 2019 - 2:12 pm
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(LOS ANGELES) -- The family of a 17-year-old girl who was shot to death by a police officer on a Southern California freeway is demanding answers, but officials said Tuesday that the officer who killed the girl has yet to be interviewed by investigators.

Hannah Linn Williams was identified by her family as the young woman who was fatally shot by a Fullerton police officer on Friday evening on the 91 Freeway in Anaheim, police said.

Police officials have described Williams as a "suspect" and said investigators recovered a "possible handgun" at the scene of the shooting, but have declined to release further information.

"At this time, the Williams Family is grieving the tragic and violent death of Hannah. We ask for prayers from the community," the family said in a statement released Monday.

Williams family is working with civil rights leaders Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jarett Maupin of the National Action Network "to find answers to what appears to be another unjustified shooting of a young person of color."

"We want Rev. Sharpton to shine a light on what happened here in Anaheim. We want to know why police felt the need to shoot and kill a 17-year-old unarmed teen girl," Hannah Williams' father, Benson Williams, said in a statement.

The shooting unfolded just after 7 p.m. on Friday after a Fullerton police K-9 officer radioed an emergency dispatcher to say he had been involved in a shooting on the eastbound 91 Freeway, according to a statement from the Anaheim Police Department.

 "A female suspect was struck by gunfire and was transported to a local hospital where she later died," the statement reads.

Investigators recovered a "possible handgun" at the scene, according to the statement.

Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said Tuesday that no further information is being released at this time.

"We would love to be able to, but the officer involved has not been interviewed yet, so we can't release information that could potentially influence his statement to investigators," Wyatt told ABC News.

He said the officer, whose name had not been released, is scheduled to be interview by investigators on Thursday.

Wyatt said forensic tests are still being conducted on the possible handgun recovered at the scene.

"It's an item appearing to be a handgun. And the reason we can't say yet is that it has to be forensically examined to determine if it's real, if it's fake, if it's functional, if it's loaded. All that has to come from the crime lab," Wyatt said.

Wyatt said three different agencies are involved in the investigation. The Anaheim Police Department is investigating whether Williams committed a crime, while the Orange County District Attorney's Office is probing the potential criminal culpability of the officer.

He said the Fullerton Police Department has launched an administrative investigation into whether the officer violated department policy.

The Orange County medical examiner's office is scheduled to release Hannah's body to her family on Tuesday. The family said it plans to seek an independent autopsy.

The Williams family is expected to hold a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

"We want the public to know right away, how many times our daughter was shot and whether or not she was shot in the back," Benson Williams said in his statement.

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