The widow of a 69-year-old man gunned down in a random shooting outside a Red Deer Walmart on Friday night says the last few days have been a blur as she tries to come to terms with what happened.
“The only thing I thought was, ‘Why are you shooting at Jim? Just why? Everything has been why, everybody wants to know why?'” Roxine Williams said from her Red Deer home Monday.
Roxine and her husband, Charles (Jim) Williams, were out Christmas shopping on Friday. She said they stopped at Walmart so Jim could pick up some deodorant and she decided to stay in the car because her legs were tired from the busy day of shopping.
It was dark outside, so she locked the car doors and kept it running to keep warm. As her husband approached the car, she unlocked the doors. That’s when she heard the first “pop.”
“He slammed the door and he said, ‘Stay there!'”
She recalls hearing another pop.
“I had looked over and there was a guy there with a hoodie on and the string pulled tight around his face and a black cloth over his face. And I heard another pop and the guy took off,” Roxine said.
“Jim took off after him and that’s the last time I saw Jim. Then I heard three more pops.”
Roxine called 911 and within minutes, police arrived. She got out of the vehicle to find her husband lying on the road.
“He was there, laying in the driving lane and there was a policeman there with him doing CPR. So I was screaming… ‘That’s my husband? That’s my husband!'”
Her husband was rushed to hospital. She followed in another ambulance.
“I got in the hospital and there was a doctor and a nurse waiting for me. They took me in this room and the doctor said, ‘Your husband has passed away.’ Well, I just kind of collapsed on myself then.”
Roxine was able to say goodbye to her husband of 44 years before leaving the hospital. She said she’s sharing her story so people know how loving her husband was.
“Jim was my best friend. He was my travel partner. He was my everything,” she said, adding they planned to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary next year on a cruise through Panama.
“He loved his children, he loves his grandchild, he loved his great grandchildren. He loved me… Now that’s gone. They took away so much of him.
“I’m digging up the strength just to go on.”
RCMP release further details in random shooting
On Monday, RCMP released further details about what they call a random shooting, saying there were numerous “random shots” fired at a couple of other people in the parking lot.
“The shooter had engaged two other people in the parking lot and shot at them. He did not strike them fortunately, and then as they departed there was other random shots fired,” Insp. Mark Groves said.
Police believe an intended robbery was the motivation for the shooting.
“It looks like the victim was returning to his car, and at that time he was in an altercation with the suspect,” Groves said.
“At this point, it looks like it was a robbery, an intended robbery.”
Chase Freed, 18, of Red Deer, is facing five charges including second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder while using a firearm.
Crystal Maurice, 30, also of Red Deer, is charged with four offences including accessory after the fact to murder and theft of a motor vehicle.
Watch below: Red Deer RCMP Insp. Mark Groves releases further information in random fatal shooting outside southside Walmart
‘Some day we’ll all be together’
Roxine said she’s received an overwhelming amount of support over the past few days, even from complete strangers. She’s leaning on her faith and says she knows she will see Jim again.
“I know he’s with his grandparents and his dad and with all the people that really loved him when he was little. So I’ve got that to remember that some day we’ll all be together.”