20-Year-Old Student Visiting Brooklyn From Indiana Killed By Stray Bullet

BUSHWICK – Ethan Williams, a 20-year-old young man from Indiana who was visiting NYC and studying filmmaking, was shot and killed by a stray bullet just a week after arriving in Brooklyn.

On Saturday, October 24 at around 2:30 a.m., Williams was sitting outside of his Airbnb with his friends on Eldert Street near Bushwick Avenue. All of a sudden they heard shots and the group of friends ran inside, the NY Times reported. When one of the friends who had also come from Indiana, realized that Williams did not come inside, he went outside to check and found Williams lying on top of the stairs.

When the NYPD arrived, they found Williams with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was taken to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and was pronounced dead.

Williams was a sophomore at Indiana University and was visiting NYC. He had arrived just a week before. He was a “kind, intelligent, and compassionate young man,” his GoFundMe page states.  Williams’ friend told the Times that they had saved money for this trip and rented the Airbnb to get a feel for the city; they wanted to move to NYC since they were juniors in high school. The Times reported that Williams and his friends “had ambitions to move to New York next year to explore careers as professional skateboarders, with the goal of one day becoming affiliated with a skateboarding brand. Brooklyn seemed like the center of the action.”

Murders in Brooklyn have increased since 2019. According to NYPD data, there were 86 murders across the borough in 2019. This year, there have been 136. The number of shooting incidents in Brooklyn has more than doubled, going from 240 in 2019 to 531 in 2020. The number of shooting victims has also more than doubled, going from 304 last year, to 659 in 2020 so far. The data was last updated last week.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise money for things like the funeral and other expenses. So far, over $20,000 have been raised.

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Zainab Iqbal

Zainab is a staff reporter at Bklyner who sometimes writes poetry in her free time || zainab@bklyner.com

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