Delco man killed outside his preliminary arraignment after struggle with police

Jim Melwert
June 28, 2019 - 12:03 pm
Authorities say one person has been shot dead at the district courthouse.

Jim Melwert/KYW Newsradio

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UPDATED: 3:45 p.m.

LINWOOD, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A Delaware County man, who was suspected of being high on PCP, was shot and killed by police in the parking lot outside of his preliminary arraignment.

Delaware County District Attorney Kat Copeland held press conference Friday on the shooting death of 34-year-old Darren L. Williams.

Copeland says this all began last night when Williams was taken into custody by the Trainer Boro Police Department.

Williams, Copeland says, was placed under arrest Thursday night after he was pulled over for reckless driving, failed a sobriety test and then attempted to flee.

She says those officers didn’t know that Williams girlfriend in Delaware had called police, saying Williams was dangerous and high on PCP.

“He had stolen her vehicle, the same vehicle he was stopped in and he had threatened to kill her and other individuals,” Copeland said.

Trainer officers also located controlled substances inside Williams’s vehicle, Copeland says. The substance, which has not yet been tested according to Copeland, was a "white powdery substance."

Williams would then be taken to a Chester police station where he would put in a holding cell for the night.

Copeland says a detainer was placed on Williams and on Friday morning he would be transferred to a holding cell at the Linwood District Court House.

About 20 minutes after he was arraigned, Copeland says a Trainer police officer and a constable returned to Williams’s cell. She says when they opened the cell door Williams shoved the door open, pushed past the two authorities and made his way into the court house parking lot.

While in the parking lot with the authorities in pursuit, Copeland says, Williams stopped and took a swing at the police officer. Both the officer and Williams would square up and Williams pushed the officer to the ground, Copeland said.

As the two were rolling around on the ground, the district attorney says, the constable “tased” Williams. At that time Williams gained control of the officer's handgun, Copeland says, the officer grabbed the barrel of the weapon and while the two were rolling around on the ground the officer's gun was fired and Williams was shot.

According to Copeland, just before the gun was shot Williams was on top of the officer, the gun was fired and then the constable shot Williams.

Williams would be pronounced dead in the parking lot of the court house.

DA Copeland says, "Numerous witnesses were interviewed, and the matter is also on video."

She says her office will take control of this investigation.