13 September 2002


From the local newspaper:

A New Orleans man who family members called one of the most hated men in the B.W. Cooper housing complex was gunned down while sitting under an oak tree Sunday evening.

The murder of Alexis "Slam" Williams attracted a crowd that neighbors compared to a parade. Williams, 36, was with a group of friends in a courtyard in the 3300 block of Thalia Street about 5:30 p.m. when three men approached and opened fire, Williams' family said. As Williams' friends ran, one of the gunmen remained and continued to shoot the dying man in the back before fleeing, the family said.

When the gunfire stopped, one of Williams' sisters ran and shielded her brother's body. A child rode off on a bike and alerted a police officer that a man had been shot, police said.

"I just got off the phone with my daddy," said Myteasha Williams, 16, Williams' daughter, as she stood near her father's body. "I just hung up the phone with him and was about to go get some money. I was coming down the stairs, and then I heard beaucoup gunshots. I ran back up the stairs until it stopped."

With tears streaming down her face, the teen stared in disbelief at the more than 200 people gathered around her father's body. Many appeared to be celebrating: Some children ate candy apples while adults drank beer and ate snacks as if they were at a picnic. Babies were brought to the scene. Cars pulled over on a nearby street, and their occupants ran to the scene to see if the rumors of Williams' slaying were true.

With the exception of Alexis Williams' family and friends, few appeared to be troubled by the sight of his body under the tree.

Tracy Williams, Alexis Williams' wife, said she wasn't surprised to see the crowd rejoicing over her husband's death.

"They're happy," said Tracy Williams, surveying the crowd around her. "They have been waiting for this day. They thought he was a bad person. . . . The only way he dealt with people was if they messed with him."