The family of 19-year-old Dante Williams, shot while attempting to rob a Waffle House in South Carolina, say that Williams didn’t have to die and was a “respectable boy.”
The incident, caught on security cameras, shows Williams and Jawan Craig enter the Spartanburg Waffle House, point a gun at the cashier, and demand the cash in the register.
Justin Harrison, a concealed carry permit holder, was sitting at the bar area. “They’re yelling ‘everybody get down, get down’ and I’m not getting on the floor. I am not going to be a victim,” Harrison recalls.
After Harrison refuses to get down, Williams starts to approach him but Harrison stands up and fires multiple shots at Williams. Harrison then turns to Craig who tries to wrestle the gun away but is unable to and ends up fleeing. Police later arrested him and charged him with armed robbery.
“This was the only time. If I am going to fight it was that one time. He was approaching me and I saw that as him engaging me,” Harrison says.
Former Spartanburg deputy David Blanton was Harrison’s concealed weapons permit instructor and says “not only was he defending his own life, which the law says he can do, but there were other people in the restaurant.”
Of course, Williams’ cousin Tamika McSwain disagrees. “I understand he felt threatened by the situation but he said the gun was pointed at him so he fired. In fact, [Williams] was walking out,” says McSwain.
Recalling her time with Williams, she says “he was always sharp, always goofy, loved to dance, he was a respectable boy.”
Regardless of Tamika’s qualms, Harrison’s shooting has been ruled as justified by both the Sheriff’s Office and the Seventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Meanwhile, Craig has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for taking part in the thwarted robbery.