On May 4, 2018, two 19-year-old Bristol residents died in a shooting. Prosecutors have now charged Joseph Williams, also 19, with the pulling the trigger to end the lives of both Zyisean McDuffie and Tommy Ballard.
Forensic evidence including ballistics and an autopsy have resulted in Williams catching the blame for both murders instead of an original single charge of homicide.
Accomplice Gary Goddard, 48, was initially charged with McDuffie’s murder. A bullet fired from Goddard’s weapon was found lodged in the victim’s skull, but an autopsy revealed it did not penetrate to the brain.
The evidence now shows a shot fired from Williams’ revolver was the fatal blow to McDuffie. Goddard’s charges have been downgraded to attempted murder and aggravated assault for his role in the shooting.
Williams’ charges now extend to two counts of homicide and an additional charge of attempted homicide for shots fired at a third man. Also included are charges of aggravated assault, illegal firearms possession, and recklessly endangering another person.
The shooting immediately followed an argument between Williams and the third man Jahmier Wilson on the 900 block of Elmhurst Ave. around 7 p.m. The address is home to April Coleman and her daughter.
Goddard’s son, Williams, and three other men were at Coleman’s home taking pre-prom photos and eating Chinese food outside when McDuffie, Ballard, and Wilson arrived in a grey sedan.
The confrontation escalated, and Coleman described the scene to police in a recorded interview play in court Wednesday.
Wilson beckoned Williams over to him and began pointing a finger in Williams’ face, at which point Coleman recalls another man saying, “We can fight, but not in front of Miss April.”
Williams then opened fire on the three visitors, hitting two, and Goddard crossed the street to shoot at McDuffie. Wilson escaped by crawling away in the grass.
One fired bullet was found to have passed through a home with five people inside, including a three-year-old.
A formal arraignment for Williams and Goddard is scheduled for August 17 in Bucks County Common Pleas Court.