Suspect identified in Ada schools threat

Police look over the scene of a traffic stop Thursday at Fourth and Oak streets, where Gerard Shane Williams, 37, of Ada, was apprehended. Williams was arrested in connection with threats made against an Ada City Schools employee, which caused campuses to be closed district-wide Thursday.

Ada police have arrested a man whose alleged threats of violence toward a district employee caused campuses to be closed district-wide Thursday.

Gerard Shane Williams, 37, of Ada, was arrested around 1:24 p.m. during a traffic stop at Fourth and Oak streets in Ada. Williams was identified as a suspect during an investigation into threatening messages received by an Ada City Schools employee. Authorities said police were preparing to arrest Williams when he attempted to drive away.

Williams’ used a smartphone to live-stream his arrest on the Facebook social networking platform. The eight-minute-long video begins before the traffic stop is initiated by police. Sirens can be heard in the background 20 seconds into the video as police attempt to pull Williams over.

Williams initially appears hesitant to comply with officers, who order him to get out of the vehicle and get on the ground, asking, “You going to shoot me?” Officers can be seen and heard in the video saying, “No, I’m not going to shoot you” in response to Williams’ questions. Williams refuses to get out of the vehicle and continues to ask questions as officers attempt to open the driver's-side door.

Off camera, police can be heard calmly calling Williams by name, trying to convince him to open the door. Williams can be heard telling officers not to use aggressive tactics and to get their hands off him.

About two minutes into the video, the screen goes dark. The remaining six minutes of the recording are audio only, during which Williams can be heard becoming increasingly agitated and hostile towards officers.

Parents notified

All Ada City Schools campuses remained closed Thursday after school officials said they received a “specific threat” against Ada schools.

Ada City Schools Superintendent Mike Anderson said he made the decision to notify parents and guardians late Wednesday after consulting with Ada police and District 22 District Attorney Paul Smith.

“At approximately 8:15 p.m. Wednesday … Ada City Schools district personnel were made aware of what we believed to be a threatening message directed toward Ada Schools,” Anderson said Thursday in a prepared statement. “The information contained language that was specific and communicated in a manner that I considered threatening enough to cancel school at all Ada school sites on Thursday. In situations like this, we will always make decisions and operate with an abundance of caution.’

Anderson said Ada police and the DA were notified immediately and have remained involved in the district’s decision-making process. Anderson declined to release specific information about the nature of the threat, citing concerns that any further information released could hinder a police investigation.

Ada Public Information Director Lisa Bratcher confirmed early Thursday that Ada police are investigating the threat, but she declined to comment further prior to Williams’ arrest. 

District Attorney Paul Smith said he was briefed on the situation late Wednesday during consultation with police and district officials on a “warrant procedure.”

Smith said the decision to close all Ada school campuses Thursday was reached after it was determined that police and school officials were dealing with a “credible threat we could not alleviate overnight.”


Contact Carl Lewis at (580) 310-7520, or by email at clewis@theadanews.com

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