New York, New York – Born male, 32-year-old Joshua Williams was in a decade-long marriage when he decided he was a woman. Although Worth Williams disagreed with his spouse’s decision to transition, Joshua began taking hormones to feminize his physique. The arguments between the couple escalated over months, until Joshua barricaded his terrified husband in the bathroom of their Lower East Side, Manhattan apartment on the morning of Friday, February 8. Only one of the pair left the home alive that day.
Joshua and Worth Williams lived in a sixth floor apartment at 227 Cherry Street, near the Manhattan Bridge.
Joshua suffered from schizophrenia, which is often comorbid with gender dysphoria, according to scholarly studies. Joshua was so volatile that his husband, Worth, had an order of protection against him. Still, Worth didn’t hold back on expressing his displeasure over Joshua’s gender transition.
Angered by his husband’s preference, Joshua trapped Worth in a bathroom, according to a 7 AM call Worth made to 911.
When police arrived on the scene, they freed Worth from the bathroom. Worth informed officers that he had an order of protection against Joshua.
The officers found Joshua hiding in a closet at the rear of the home.
Despite Worth’s call for emergency assistance and active restraining order against his husband, officers found Joshua “calm and compliant,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan later said. Therefore, law enforcement saw no need to handcuff Joshua as they escorted him from the apartment.
Officers were caught off-guard when Joshua suddenly broke away from them. He grabbed a large butcher knife from the kitchen, ran to Worth and began stabbing and slashing his husband in the face and shoulder with the large blade, police later said.
Two officers discharged their weapons, striking Joshua with five bullets to the torso. Joshua was rushed to Manhattan hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour later.
Joshua’s family and friends lambasted the officers’ decision to fatally shoot him, claiming that Joshua was not responsible for the series of events.
“I don’t know what happened, but I guarantee it was provoked,” Herbert Rembert, Joshua’s father, argued. “He had his issues, but Joshua doesn’t have a violent streak in his body.”
He lamented, “They are painting my son as a real bad villain.”
Joshua’s father and Chris Bell, Worth’s 31-year-old godson, both trace the root of the issue to problems that arose in the marriage as a result of Joshua’s transition. The conflicts were compounded by Joshua’s mental illness, the feminizing hormone pills he took for transition and drug abuse.
“The mix of crystal meth, hormones and schizophrenia was terrible,” Worth’s godson explained. “When he was schizophrenic, he was a monster.” He also laid blame at officers’ feet. “They should have handcuffed him. There was negligence on their part. There was a domestic violence situation. That’s a lawsuit.”
Chief Monahan maintains that the officers acted appropriately. “A valid order of protection had not at that point been produced to the officers, and the officers had not yet determined if a crime had been committed,” he said.
Worth was hospitalized for the slashes and puncture wounds he suffered to the face and left shoulder, and is expected to survive.
Read more on this story
NYPD officers fatally shoot gender-transitioning man in violent domestic feud on the Lower East Side
Cops shot and killed a knife-wielding man who tried to stab his lover Friday amid a long-running feud over a gender transition, police and a family member said.
NEW YORK — New York police on Friday fatally shot a man they say was attacking his domestic partner with a butcher knife.