EARLIER: Shooting victim: 'A tender, caring person'

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Those who say they knew Trey Williams have trouble understanding what happened on Saturday.

By Todd Martin

Several friends and relatives of Trey Williams are still confused and questioning the events of Saturday afternoon when Williams was shot and killed by police officers in the home of his grandmother.

Those who know Williams have described him in the same way: very sweet, loveable, hard worker, a great friend, always smiling.

Williams, 18, graduated last year from Shelby County High School and was a member of the Rockets' basketball team, even advancing to the Sweet 16 with the team as a reserve in 2009-10 season.

"A best friend gone to soon," was how Desmond Walker, who grew up with Williams, described it.

"If you look at our local media and our newspapers, they are focused more on the negative of Trey Williams," he said. "As a friend and a family member of Trey, I don't like seeing this, because that's not how we knew Trey Williams."

The events from Saturday afternoon have had the entire county abuzz, lighting up Facebook pages and Twitter posts with speculation on the incident and people remembering Williams.

"Trey was very sweet, loveable young man and a hard worker like his parents," Michelle Peyton wrote on Facebook. "[He] just loved life and his family, a very nice person."

Added Thelma Evans: "Very sweet...he just loved life and his family, a very nice person."

Williams was shot after an altercation with police inside the home of his maternal grandmother, Dorothy Farris, on Clifton Court.

Police say Williams was "deranged" and "refused to follow any of the officers' demands."

However, that doesn't fit the description from Tammy Roberts on the day of the shooting.

"I've never known Trey to be in trouble," she said. "This just breaks my heart. He is from a wonderful, well-known family."

Williams, who stands 6 feet 1 and weighs around 230 pounds, had played basketball all of his life, friends say. And he was a part-time starter at SCHS his senior season.

His coach, Rick Parsons, said that Williams was tough to get to know, but a thoughtful person.

"He was a hard shell on the outside, he was a hard shell around most people, but once you got inside that shell, he was a tender, caring person," Parsons said. "But he didn't let many people in that shell."

That quiet, tough exterior may have been what led to Williams leaving the basketball court earlier on Saturday.

Boomer Beckley, who played high school basketball and was friends with Williams, was at the scene Saturday and had been playing basketball at the park with Williams earlier in the day.

"He was there about 12:30 and left about 1:15 or so," Beckley said. "He got mad. A dude said something to him, and he said he had better leave because he might have to fight. I tried to get him to stay. And now this happened so fast."

But Beckley added that Williams wasn't one to normally be angry.

"He's just a regular guy," he said.

Many others agreed, saying that Williams was a good guy.

But Williams had recently had a run-in with a co-worker at Dairy Queen that showed he did have a temper. On Nov. 14, the police were called and the store briefly closed for what was described as a "verbal conflict" on the police report. According to the report, officers were unable to get Williams to calm down, and ended up having to arrest him.

But Kayla Snider, who went to middle and high school with Williams and spent time with him as the manager of the SCHS basketball team, said Williams doesn't fit the profile of the man described as attacking police officers.

"He was always smiling," she said in an E-mail to The Sentinel-News. "He was never in trouble. He was an incredible athlete and an amazing friend to many. He had a huge heart."

Walker said Williams is being cast in a bad light.

"This is how I would like to remember Trey Williams," Walker said. "He always had a smile on his face that could light up the darkest room. He would always tell jokes and have his friends laughing.

"I love you Trey, and you'll always be in our hearts."