Man shocked twice before death at jail

EVERETT — A 59-year-old Everett man was shocked twice with an electronic stun gun Friday night just minutes before he died at the Snohomish County Jail.

Bill C. Williams, who had long struggled with mental illness, reportedly got into a confrontation with jail staff. He’d been booked for investigation of theft that night by Everett police.

A Snohomish County sheriff’s corrections officer remains on paid administrative leave in connection with the case, officials said Wednesday.

Williams’ death is being investigated by the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team, a cadre of homicide detectives from around the county who probe cases involving police and the use of force.

Williams was arrested about 9:30 p.m. Friday after allegedly shoplifting from a Broadway gas station.

He was booked into jail at 10:17 p.m.

“Once inside, he became combative and corrections staff used two separate Taser applications with little result either time,” Everett police officer Aaron Snell said.

Afterward, Williams was placed into an isolation cell. At 10:34 p.m., Williams was found in medical distress, Snell said. Jail staff summoned medics and began resuscitation efforts.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office completed an autopsy Monday. Williams’ cause of death is pending further study.

Laboratory test results could take weeks.

Williams spent much of his life in Skagit County but moved to Everett in recent years, where he was receiving services, according to his family. He had suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenic episodes since his 20s.

Williams had good years in his life but also could lose touch with reality and become violent, his family said.

Initial reports from police misstated Williams’ age and current city of residence.

His family has set up an account for community donations to help with funeral expenses. People can give to the “Bill Williams Memorial Fund” at any KeyBank branch.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

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