DES MOINES, IOWA — A Des Moines woman acted in apparent self-defense against her longtime boyfriend and father of her children when she shot him earlier this month, according to new information released by police. The victim of the shooting, 23-year-old Ezekiel Williams, died from his injuries on Saturday, one week after he was shot.

Police were called to Williams’ apartment in the 2200 block of University Avenue around 6:00 pm on May 20th on a report of a shooting. First responders found Williams in his home with a gunshot wound to his head. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he remained on life support for a week before his death on May 27th.

On Wednesday, Des Moines Police released new details of their investigation into Williams’ death. According to police, Williams had physically assaulted his longtime girlfriend and one of the couple’s three children on the evening of May 20th. As the assaults were occurring, the woman retrieved a handgun and shot Williams. Police say the woman suffered a broken nose and bruising and swelling to her face during he assault. The child also had bruising on their face.

Des Moines Police say they and the Polk County Attorneys Office continue to investigate the shooting, but no criminal charges have been filed at this time.

Williams’ death is the 11th homicide of 2023 in Des Moines.

Des Moines Police remind anyone who is a victim of domestic violence that resources are available. If you are in danger, call 911 immediately. Other resources include:

  • Children & Families of Iowa Domestic Violence Services
    515-243-6147 or 1-800-942-0333
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline