Stephen Willis Vigil

April 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Holding candles, and sharing stories, dozens of family, friends, and spectators held a vigil outside Stephen Willis' Southeast Fresno apartment Saturday.It was same spot where Willis was fatally shot by Fresno police just one week ago.

Augie Espinosa, Stephen Willis' friend, "He never hurt nobody. He didn't have no enemies. He had a lot of friends."

Willis was killed last Saturday after two Fresno police officers say their safety was threatened when he refused to drop his revolver.

But Willis' family says those claims are untrue.

Gil Devlin, Stephen Willis' grandfather, "Sure the police department lie, lie lie and the captain backs em up."

Officers fired more than 30 rounds.

Willis fired one, grazing one of the officers in the thigh.

An autopsy revealed his blood alcohol level at the time of the shooting was nearly four times the legal limit and that there were traces of marijuana in his system.

At a press conference held last week, Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer defended his officers' actions.

"It didn't have to turn out this way but unfortunately when the officers gave commands, repeated commands for the firearm to be dropped the individual refused to do so."

Willis' father, Chris Willis said their family is pursuing legal action.

In the meantime, he's asking questions, hoping answers will provide the closure he and his family are looking for.

"I just want to know what happened. I want to know why he's dead. I want to know the truth, that's all I want to know."

A funeral for Stephen Willis has not been set at this point.

The family said another autopsy is still pending.

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