CHICAGO (CBS) — 39-year-old William Spates was shot and killed by a police officer in Portage, Indiana early Sunday morning.
CBS 2’s Sandra Torres spoke to Spates’ wife on the phone. She said she is devastated and not ready to speak on camera. She did, however, give permission to a family friend to speak on her behalf.
The man close to Spates did not wish to be identified. He said Sunday would have been his 40th birthday.
“All I could think about were his babies; they’re 4, 2 and a 14-year-old. He was a good guy, he took care of his kids and his wife. It’s sad that this happened.”
Portage police say the shooting happened around 1:45 in the morning when an officer was conducting a traffic stop on Spates’ vehicle in the 5300 block of Royal Avenue. Police added that initial reports show actions by the suspect ultimately led to the officer-involved shooting.
“My husband woke up to gunshots, he said five to six,” neighbor Tricia Dunn recalls.
Dunn lives across the street from where the shooting happened.
“We were all held hostage to the investigation playing out in front of us,” she said. “They told us that it was a traffic stop that ended up in a chase. Why this man chose our road — maybe he didn’t know it was a dead end — but it didn’t end well.”
Portage police said they plan on releasing more information on Monday, including the name of the officer involved in the shooting.
Online records show Spates had a history of resisting law enforcement and drug offenses.