Family grieves, remembers Antioch Chevron store employee killed during armed robbery

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Monday, December 5, 2022
Family remembers Antioch Chevron employee killed in armed robbery
Family members grieve and remember James Williams, the Antioch Chevron store employee who was killed during an armed robbery.

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- Renate Overton says everything changed for her family after she got the call that her fiancée, James Williams, was shot and killed during an armed robbery at a Chevron gas station in Antioch.

"He was trying to do so good. He was trying to be on the right path. He was like, 'We are going to get married!' Everything," said Overton, fighting back tears. "We lost him (during) Thanksgiving time. We have to bury him around Christmas. His kids will never get to spend that with him."

Last Saturday, Williams was working the overnight shift when he was robbed at gunpoint. The Contra Costa District Attorney's office says surveillance footage shows that after the two suspects took off on foot, Williams grabbed a gun and chased after them.

Williams fired first, hitting a suspect, who police identified as 19-year-old Ronald Jackson, in the leg. Jackson allegedly then returned fire, which ultimately killed Williams.

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Coworker opens up after the murder of James Williams, Antioch Chevron employee killed in a "botched" armed robbery.

"He wasn't outside, doing anything wrong. He was at work. Even if they feel like the boy was (acting in) self-defense, they went in his store while he was on the clock, and did that. That is wrong. That is not okay," Overturn said.

Deputy District Attorney Derek Butts says they consider all possible scenarios. But he says, because Williams chased after the suspects with a firearm as they were fleeing, who were a good distance away at that point, in the eyes of the law, it is no longer self-defense. And the suspects won't be charged with murder.

"Technically, when you commit a robbery, the robbery is not over until you reach a place of safety. And the robbers hadn't at this time. But the analysis is that now they are under a deadly attack when such attack was not legally justified," Butts said.

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Overton says Williams was a good family man, a father who worked hard to provide for her and his three daughters. As she sits with their newborn on her lap, she is reminded that their daughter will never know her father. And, that Williams' two older daughters are struggling with the loss of their father.

She adds that their family is not happy that anyone got shot, but they still believe William acted in self-defense.

"We don't like the situation. We have to deal with it," said Overton, adding, "He felt (that he was) protecting his self. And who knows if they would have came back in there the next day and robbed them again? And this time shot him."

According to the DA's office, the suspects stole less than $200 dollars in cash and some tobacco products.

Only one of the two suspects, Jackson, has been caught. He could face up to 15 years in prison.

The DA's office says that, given the fact that Williams was killed, they will seek greater penalties at the time of sentencing.

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