Student stabbed, killed on North Campus; alleged assailant also dead

September 23, 1997

ANN ARBOR—An assailant was shot and killed in the act of stabbing a University of Michigan student early this morning (Sept. 23) near family housing on the University’s North Campus. The assailant was shot by a U-M police officer who responded to emergency calls. The woman, Tamara Sonya Williams, 20, a senior in the College of Literature, Science & the Arts, died in surgery at the U-M Medical Center. The suspect, Kevin V. Nelson, 26, was not affiliated with the University. Nelson also died after being transported to the U-M Medical Center. Shortly after 12:15 a.m. this morning the U-M Department of Public Safety (DPS) received several 911 calls reporting an assault in progress in the 2200 block of Stone Drive near North Campus family housing. Officers were immediately dispatched to the scene.

The first officer who reached the scene observed a man stab a woman who was lying on the ground. The officer instructed the assailant to put down the weapon and cease stabbing the victim. However, the suspect continued to stab the victim and the officer discharged his weapon, striking the assailant.

The assailant was believed to have been in a domestic relationship with the victim. Although he was not registered with the University as a resident of family housing, his driver’s license listed his address as the victim’s residence. Nelson was convicted of domestic assault against Williams in October 1995.

The U-M Dean of Students Office is providing counseling for the families of Williams and Nelson, for residents of family housing and other members of the University community who are affected by this tragic incident. Students, parents and others who need information or assistance can call the Dean of Students Office at (313) 936-3100.

The officer involved in the shooting is receiving counseling and has been placed on administrative leave, according to standard DPS policy. All U-M police officers receive extensive and ongoing training in firearms and the use of deadly force. This is the first time that a DPS officer has fired a weapon in the line of duty since the department became a police agency in 1990.

The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated by DPS. When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office for review.


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