COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A suspect pleaded not guilty to all charges Wednesday in a case that left a woman critically injured in a shooting in Columbus.
Late at night on Oct. 3, a gunshot rang out on Alpine Drive, putting a 27-year-old mother in critical condition. The bullet hit her in the face.
Police arrested the woman’s boyfriend, Anthony Gates, after Trillisha Williams was shot in the face at Alpine Apartments Friday. He faces several charges including, making terroristic threats and aggravated assault by strangulation.
Testimony in court revealed Gates allegedly had one hand around the victim’s throat with a gun pointed to her head during an argument. Police said he put the weapon down, which was when the victim’s 6-year-old-child picked up the gun, aimed at Gates and accidentally shot his mother.
Cases like the one at the Alpine Apartments bring awareness to just how serious domestic violence can be. Trilisha Williams’ family is speaking out in hopes no other victim will have to feel the pain their loved one is in right now.
Family members said Williams has opened her eyes but is still in critical condition. When asked what the road to recovery looked like, the family couldn’t answer as they held back tears.
Right now, they’re fighting for custody of the children, who are with their individual fathers for the time being.
“Trilisha was a single working mother that was taking care of her three kids and she is a victim of domestic violence,” said Williams’ aunt, Latrice Williams.
At the time of the crime, police said Trilisha Williams was arguing with Gates, her live-in boyfriend. One of Williams’ three kids reportedly told police they heard Gates say “I should kill you, but you have kids.”
Some time after that, police say her 6-year-old son picked up Gates’ gun and pulled the trigger.
“They get to the point where they’ve seen too much and they’re prepared to protect their mother by any means necessary,” Latrice Williams said.
Family members said this is not the first time Gates and Williams were involved in a domestic violence situation. While Gates does have a criminal record, he has no previous domestic violence charges. After pleading not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and terroristic threats, Gates is being held in jail without bond as he waits for his case to head over to superior court.
As far as Trillisha Williams’ recovery goes... “It’s hard to say, it’s hard to really say," her mother said. "She does open her eyes from time to time.”
Family members said they found out Gates was violent not long after he and Trillisha Williams got together. But they said Trillisha Williams is a forgiving person and thought her boyfriend would change.
They’re hoping by sharing this story, it could save someone else.