Marion Teenager Shot to Death

Marion Teenager Shot to Death
By:  Arnold Wyrick
Marion, IL -- She had just turned 16 years old at the end of June, and now Marion police say, she's the victim of a violent crime on South Monroe Street.  Tamika Williams had stopped by to visit with her friends when her life was snuffed out by a gunshot wound to the chest.
"I'm still puzzled by that myself.  When the police came by they said, he said it was an accident, but I feel if it was an accident why did everybody scatter," says Michael Williams as he held a picture of his baby daughter
Within hours of the shooting, police arrested 32 year old Darek Stutz of Marion.  He's being charged with unlawful use of a firearm by a felon and is currently behind bars in the Williamson County jail.
"It's even more tragic when the person killed is a 16 year old teenager.  So keeping that in mind I'm going to try and do what I can to see that justice is done in this case," says Williamson County State's Attorney Charles Garnati.
Meanwhile, Tamika's friends mourn her death and say, she didn't deserve to die so young.
"She was a little girl.  She loved everybody.  She had no problems with nobody.  Whatever the facts maybe, or whatever the case is.  I just know that he took an innocent girls life," says Bernard Cole of Marion.
Williams friends hugged each other and wiped back tears as they recalled happier days with the vibrant young girl, who volunteered with several area community organizations.
"She was a really good person.  And I can't believe she's gone.  I went to school with her and we had good times.  She used to stay out at my house when we were younger.  I just can't believe this has happened," says Tiffani Troxell of Marion.
An autopsy performed on Tamika showed that she died of a single gunshot wound to the upper chest.  Those results were forwarded to the Williamson County State's Attorney's office on Tuesday, more criminal charges could be filed in this case on Wednesday.