Benson Williams grabbed the bright pink shirt in his hands. This helped him feel close to his daughter as he struggled to understand that he would never remember her again.
The 46-year-old sits on Thursday afternoon in his living room in Anaheim, trying to figure out how his sparkling, energetic 17-year-old girl had left home Friday with a smile on her face. was found stuck. shot by a policeman on a busy highway in southern California.
Until now, authorities have spoken very little to parents. Why she was fatally slaughtered remains a mystery to them.
"It's unbearable," said the father, holding the shirt she wore the day before her death and still smelling its scent. "We have no answer."
Hannah Williams was shot on the night of July 5 in Anaheim, a town 25 kilometers south of Los Angeles. The police gave little details of what happened before the shootings or why the officer opened fire and was still investigating the incident.
Orange County Attorney's Office stated that the officer was a local officer from the Fullerton Department and that he was driving on a highway when he observed the 17-year-old driving at a "high speed", adding that both vehicles had "established physical contact" at some point.
The authorities also claim that a "replica pistol" was "found on the scene".
Police Fullerton said in a declaration On Thursday, the ministry was still investigating the shooting, but the incident had been filmed by a camera for the body and the agency was going to stream the video in the coming days.
A local highway was closed for hours after the shooting. Anaheim Police m said in a statement following the incident, a "suspect" had died at the hospital.
Learning to save lives: "She was so proud"
Originally from Arizona, the Williams family moved to Orange County about a year ago after Hannah's mother got a new job with a health insurance company.
Hannah, who turned 17 in April, enjoyed swimming and was excited about moving to Southern California, not residing too far from the beach, said her parents while they were sitting with the Guardian.
Hannah excelled as a junior in her new high school in Anaheim, they continued. She loved math, art, writing – and spanish lessons, where she could outsmart teachers, having grown up speaking the language with her mother, Pilar Looney. She became captain of the football team, refusing to give up the sport even after suffering back injury.
Before the start of her last year in the fall, she was thrilled to land her first real paid job this summer as a lifeguard at Knott's Berry Farm, a popular theme park near Disneyland.
"She bought correspondence cards so she could write the different ways to do CPR … She loved that job," said her father. It was immediately rewarding: a few days after her departure, Hannah had helped save a wheelchair-bound woman who had fallen into a pool and had also helped a girl lost in the park.
After receiving her first check, she insisted on bringing the family to Chinese food and pay, her mother recalled, "She was very generous." She spent her second check buying snacks for the family's holiday at 4th July.
"She has always been there for you," said Nyla Williams, Hannah's sister, age 19, who is part of the US Air Force. "It does not matter if she feels bad, she'll try to make us laugh. She was the kindest person I have ever met. "
In her spare time, Hannah had a YouTube channel with her cousin in which she posted videos about football in the park and paid tribute to her teammates, tributes to her siblings and cousins and pictures of her friends. she herself "doing nothing" while she was telling in a video, she was so bored and had "nothing to do and nothing to post".
She recently bought a small electric keyboard and learned to play the piano while watching videos on YouTube – and teaching her father and younger sister how to play at the same time.
She was also preparing to take her driving test after receiving her next paycheck. She has never had a chance.
"We deserve respect"
The night of Hannah's death, parents were in town and the whole family had to go out to Hollywood. Her parents said they did not know why she had pulled out their rental car without them. She never came home.
On Saturday morning, around 3:30 am, a group of police officers came to their door and asked a series of confused questions: did Hannah have any problems? Had she had a fight with someone earlier? Was she mentally unstable? Were there any weapons in the house?
Finally, they announced the news: "There was an accident on the highway, she got out of the car. There was a dispute, "recalls one father, before adding," And she died on the scene. "
The family had trouble understanding.
"He said she was touched," recalls Hannah's mother. "I said," Is she in the hospital? Is she okay? "
The couple later learned that Hannah had been shot by a police officer in uniform from the nearby Police Department of Fullerton.
On Tuesday, the family asked for answers to a press conference in front of the city hall of Anaheim. Shortly before the start of the events, the Orange County Attorney's Office, charged with investigating the merits of the shooting, issued a vague statement about the murder, saying that a "replica weapon "fist" had been found.
The family was caught off guard by the allegation. They had arrived ready to talk to the media about Hannah's life.
The journalists instead shouted at questions about what she had done in the moments leading up to her death, some asking her if she was armed, others reading the prosecutor's statement and holding a picture of the apparent toy gun found on the scene. Stunned, the family moved away from the sea of cameras, unable to process the show.
Looney said she wanted at least the authorities to give at least information to the family before going on the news: "We deserve respect, we must be informed before everyone else, just by courtesy", a- she declared.
The family said Thursday afternoon that she had not seen the film that the authorities planned to broadcast and that she did not have a chance to see Hannah's body.
A spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney's Office told the Guardian Thursday that the gun's replica had been "found close to her", but she declined to comment further on what had led to the shooting.
"She's an angel now"
Lynn Williams, Hannah's grandmother, said that in the family home in Anaheim, complaints and screams continued.
She added that her granddaughter was supposed to visit her later that summer in Arizona, and that she had said she wanted to follow in her older sister's footsteps and join the air force: "She worked really hard."
Looney said she has trouble explaining the death of Hannah's youngest brother, who is five and nine years old. Zoe, the nine-year-old girl, finds it hard to accept the fact that her older sister has left, the mother said, "She said to me," Well, bring Hannah back. Why can not you bring her back? And I said to her, "Baby, I can not bring her back. And she said, "Why not? Just bring her home.
Hannah's youngest brother, his five-year-old brother, still understands that Hannah is an "angel". But he does not know yet how she died, said Looney.
The mother said that she was still thinking about a conversation they had had recently at Mother's Day. At the church, there was a time when everyone was told to pray and think what they want.
Looney then asked her daughter what she had prayed for. "She was like, I asked a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Is! & # 39; remembered the mother with a smile.
"And I said," Oh, good. It will come soon.