Indiana college student, 20, on ‘dream trip’ to New York is shot and killed by a stray bullet as he sat on a Brooklyn stoop
- Ethan Williams, 20, from Indianapolis had been sitting on the stoop of an Airbnb
- A shooting broke out at around 2:30am with one of the stray bullets striking him
- Heartbroken father, Jason, said his son would have ‘already forgiven the shooter’
- The young man had dreamed of visiting New York since he was a boy
- Family released a statement saying how he would always see the good in others and had served on the mayor’s youth council in Indianapolis
A college student from Indiana was shot and killed by a stray bullet in Brooklyn early on Saturday morning.
Ethan Williams, 20, was sitting on a stoop outside the front of an Airbnb he and a group of friends were staying in, when he was shot in the chest at around 2:30am.
Williams was said to have been on a ‘dream trip’ to the Big Apple when the tragedy unfolded in Bushwick area of the borough.
Police say Williams tried running inside but was hit in the chest by at least one stray bullet.
Ethan Williams, 20, from Indianapolis had been sitting on the stoop of an Airbnb when he was shot
A shooting broke out at around 2:30am with one of the stray bullets striking him
He was taken to Wycoff Heights Medical Center, where he died.
Speaking to the New York Post, the man’s father, Jason Williams, was extraordinarily gracious in the hours after his son’s untimely death.
‘Ethan would have wanted the shooter to know he’s already forgiven them,’ the devastated father said. ‘He would have wanted to be his friend.
‘It’s hard to express how much he loved everybody,’ Williams said. ‘He did not know a stranger.’
The family also released a prepared statement to the media:
‘If he had the opportunity to say something to the shooter, we know that he would invite him for a cup of coffee and ask to hear their story,’ it read.
Ethan’s family released a statement saying how he would always see the good in others and had served on the mayor’s youth council in Indianapolis
The young man, pictured right, had dreamed of visiting New York since he was a boy
‘He would forgive without delay. Ethan always saw beyond the surface and took the time to help others feel seen, important and loved.
‘The family appreciates the outpouring of support,’ the statement concluded.
‘We ask for privacy while we grieve and focus on figuring out what the world will look like without Ethan.’
Ethan Williams’ family told how as a young man he would always give back to others and had spent some time carrying out missionary work in Rwanda during his high school years.
He even set up an LGBTQ society despite not being gay himself, because he was sick of seeing other students bullied because of their sexual orientation.
Ethan’s parents, Susan and Jason Williams released a statement to the media praising their son
Williams had been sitting on the stoop in Bushwick, Brooklyn when the shooting occurred
The shooting happened in the early hours of Saturday morning at around 2:30am
His father told how his son had worked on the mayor’s youth council in Indianapolis and was also considering a career in journalism.
Ethan who had just started his sophomore year at Indianapolis University College leaves behind two younger siblings.
‘He said people shouldn’t be defined by their worst moments. He wanted to make the world a better place,’ Jason Williams said.
It was the man’s first trip to New York having been enchanted by the place after watching various films and television shows growing up.
‘He was so excited to see New York. He wanted to meet people like he’d seen on TV,’ his father told the Post.
‘They [the friends] felt like they were grown ups and they found this place and felt they’d be fine,’ Williams said. ‘It was just wrong place, wrong time.’
Witnesses told police a man in a dark-hooded sweatshirt ran from the scene.
No arrests have been made, and no description of the gunman has been released.