Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Weirton Fires Officer Who Wouldn't Shoot Man Wielding Gun

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Weirton Fires Officer Who Wouldn't Shoot Man Wielding Gun

Article excerpt

Stephen Mader was fired from the Weirton Police Department for not immediately shooting a man who had a gun, according to a lawyer for the family of the man, who was shot and killed by a different Weirton officer. Ronald "R.J." Williams, of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, was shot and killed on May 6 by a Weirton officer whose name has not been made public.

Three Weirton officers were at the scene when Williams was shot in the back of the head, according to a report written by a West Virginia State Police trooper who investigated the shooting. But neither the Hancock County prosecutor nor the State Police report, identifies them.

Wayne County lawyer Jack Dolance, who was hired by the Williams family and the director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, have criticized the prosecutor and Weirton police chief's refusal to release the names of the officers.

At a press conference after Williams' death, Hancock Prosecuting Attorney Jim Davis said that the three officers had returned to work and done nothing wrong.

Mader contacted Dolance, however, and said that he had been fired, the lawyer said. The letter that Mader received from the city, said that Mader had put his two colleagues in danger by not "taking quick and decisive action" with Williams, said Dolance.

Weirton police and prosecutors held a news conference Tuesday in response to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article Sunday in which Mader gave an interview about being terminated.

Travis Blosser, the city manager, said Tuesday, according to a WTOV broadcast of the news conference, that Mader had escalated the situation with Williams.

Mader, 25, who joined the Weirton force after being deployed to Afghanistan as a Marine, was the first officer to encounter Williams, 23, outside the home Williams previously shared with his ex-girlfriend.

Mader told the Post-Gazette that Williams had a gun, but wasn't pointing it at him. He couldn't immediately be reached Tuesday.

"I told him, Put down the gun,' and he's like, Just shoot me. …

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