This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DES MOINES, IOWA — The fatal shooting of a Des Moines man in his home was an act of self-defense and no charges will be filed, Polk County Attorney Kimberley Graham announced on Tuesday. Ezekiel Williams, 22, was shot on May 20th by his girlfriend after allegedly assaulting her and their children.

Police were called to their apartment around 6:00 pm that evening on a report of a shooting. Inside, police found Williams suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to a Des Moines hospital and died from his wounds one week later.

A police investigation found that Williams had assaulted his girlfriend and their children that evening. The woman retrieved Williams’ gun and shot him. Police say the woman had a broken nose and swelling on her face when they arrived. One of the couples’ children also had bruising on their face.

On Tuesday, Polk County Attorney Kimberley Graham announced that charges would not be filed against the woman who shot Williams. According to her office’s investigation, the woman had told friends of past abuse and that Williams had threatened to kill her. He also had assaulted two of the couple’s three children and her the day he was killed.

“This was a horrible tragedy in our community. The woman and children endured violence, abuse, and threats, and they will live with the memory and results of the events of that evening for the rest of their lives. The family of Mr. Williams has suffered the permanent loss of their loved one. With the right support and interventions, maybe this tragedy could have been prevented. We cannot change what has happened in this family, but we can help others as we move forward as a community.  If you are a victim of domestic violence, please reach out for help. There are many organizations and many people who want to help you,” Graham said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Resources suggested by Graham include:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)  
  • The Iowa Victims Service Call Center: Call 24/7 at 1-800-770-1650, or text IOWAHELP to 20121
  • The Iowa Coalition Against Domestic
  • The Safe at Home program:
  • The Love is Respect Teen Dating Violence Hotline:1-866-331-9474 or text LOVEIS to 22522