Mom of Howland murder victim: ‘He didn’t deserve to be gunned down like a dog’

Joshua Williams, 20


HOWLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – The mother of a man who was shot and killed in a mass shooting in Howland Saturday is speaking out about her son’s death.

Kristen Williams said her son, 20-year-old Joshua Williams, had no idea that the van he got into that day was going to the house of shooting suspect Nasser Hamad. She said Joshua thought he was just going to visit relatives who were in town from Florida.

“My son had nothing to do with anything that happened that day in that vehicle. It was not a feud with my son,” Williams said. “He had no idea where that van was going. He had no feud with the shooter. He had no involvement at all.”

Hamad is charged with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder stemming from the shooting Saturday at 1564 Niles-Cortland Road.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Haber and Joshua Williams were killed in the shooting. April Trent, 43, and 20-year-old Bryce Hendrickson and a 17-year-old were injured.

Police say the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute and remains under investigation.

Williams said Joshua had just turned 20 years old on February 19th and that his life was looking up. He had suffered from a seizure disorder in the past couple of years and had finally been on medication that was helping him and allowing him to get on with his life.

“He was allowed to get a driver’s license and was finally allowed to go to work. His life was looking brighter for him. He was feeling medically better and everything.” Williams said. “He didn’t deserve to be gunned down like a dog. He didn’t deserve this. He had no involvement in it nor did he want any involvement in it. It wasn’t his feud. He didn’t know where that van was going that day or he would have never went.”

Williams said Joshua was not a fighter and that he found the good in everyone.

“He would have given the shirt off his back for anybody,” Williams said.

Hamad is expected to make his first court appearance Monday.