Family of alleged Ocean Springs mass shooter claims he was acting in self-defense

While police have taken witness statements, Gulfport attorney Michael Crosby believes there’s more to learn from the people in the crowd.
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 10:10 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Family members of the man charged with first-degree murder for his alleged role in the Ocean Springs mass shooting on May 5 are speaking up in his defense.

Fa’Darius Williams is accused of killing a teenager and wounding six others in the shooting at The Scratch Kitchen.

Williams’ stepfather Demetrius Neilson said his stepson was acting in self-defense.

“If someone was pointing a gun at you, what would you do?” Neilson said. “If you had a family to go home to and had things to take care of, what would you do, what decision would you make right then and there?”

Williams is being defended by Gulfport attorney Michael Crosby.

“He expects to be vindicated in respect to everything against him,” Crosby said.

Crosby met with Williams’ mother and stepfather on Wednesday.

“He (Fa’Darius Williams) finds himself in a situation where he had to defend himself, in fact, he was shot,” Crosby said. “I think that proves that he was in imminent threat of serious bodily harm, which is one of the most important considerations as to whether or not someone acted in self-defense.”

Williams was treated for a hand injury in the hours after the incident. Court documents said there’s evidence of at least four weapons being present at the time of the shooting. According to police, the suspect was the only person who fired a weapon that night.

Officials have said Williams, who was brought back to Jackson County on Tuesday from Mobile, was involved in gang activity, but his stepfather denies those allegations.

“He’s not in a gang, he’s a businessman. He has his own clothing line and he’s very successful at what he does,” Neilson said.

Surveillance pictures provided by the City of Ocean Springs showed The Scratch Kitchen was packed on the night of the shooting. While police have taken witness statements, Crosby believes there’s more to learn from the people in the crowd.

“We’re reaching out to anybody who has information about this case to come forward,” Crosby said. “There are a lot of people there who have not addressed the issue yet who have information.”

Before being taken into custody in Mobile, Williams was out of jail on bond. He was arrested on April 1 in D’Iberville for possession of a stolen gun.

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