Detective Thomas Charles Williams, Jr.

Detective Thomas Charles Williams, Jr.

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, October 31, 1985

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Thomas Charles Williams, Jr.

Detective Thomas Williams was ambushed and assassinated in order to prevent him from testifying in an upcoming robbery trial. He was picking up his 6-year-old son at a church daycare center in Canoga Park when a masked gunman drove up beside him and sprayed his car with bullets.

Four men were arrested and charged with murder. Three months later, two more were charged. Later, three more were charged, bringing the total to nine. The man, 33, who planned the ambush and sprayed machine gunfire, was sentenced to death in 1988. In 2024, he was found dead in his jail cell. 1989, the man, 23, who was supposed to commit the murders and recruited help was convicted of conspiracy and acquitted of murder. He was paroled in 2017. The driver, 24, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. As of December 3, 2022, he was in Solano Prison.

Detective Williams had served with the Los Angeles Police Department for 13 years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

Detective Williams was posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor for the actions taken by him to protect his son during the incident.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge 80

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Mac-10
  • Offender Sentenced to death

ambush, assassinated, retaliation

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