Psychiatric Patient Jamal Williams and Retired Sheriff Deputy Ryan Askew Died By Colleague’s Bullet At Munster Hospital

Jamal Williams was a recent graduate of Western Michigan University, defensive lineman for the WM Broncos, and beloved friend throughout the campus community. Close friends of Jamal had expressed concerns in the past few weeks about his declining mental health and unusual behavior. On June 16th he was being treated in the psychiatric unit of a hospital in Munster, Indiana when a scuffle ensued with a nurse.

Two retired police officers and security guards at the hospital, Ryan Askew and Benny Freeman, responded to the altercation.

According to CBS Chicago, Williams overpowered the security team and placed Askew in a chokehold, which had Askew going in out of consciousness. At that point, Freeman unholstered his gun and fired twice – striking Williams in the face and Askew in the arm, prosecutors said. The bullet actually traveled through Askew chest and he died.

Jamal was in the hospital because of growing mental health issues triggered largely by the flood of racial injustices being brought to the forefront recently. Jamal was murdered trying to seek help. A psych ward should be a safe place for vulnerable people who may experience violent tendencies as a result of their condition and should be highly trained and experienced in subduing patients in an ethical manner. It is the duty of the hospital to treat all patients with dignity and respect. According to their own Patient’s Rights Statement, they failed to give Jamal the care he needed.