SHREVEPORT, La. – Tobias Williams, 31, is accused of shooting three men, killing them in Shreveport’s Allendale neighborhood on Oct. 6.
Authorities told 3-Investigates that Williams is a “known drug dealer,” and they believe the shooting was driven by a turf war. Investigators believe Williams targeted one of the victims, and killed the other two because they would have been witnesses.
Williams has a lengthy criminal background that stretches into his teens, with charges ranging from disturbing the peace and drug possession to second-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
According to court records, the attempted first-degree murder charge stems from an incident in 2010. In what appears to have been a plea deal, Williams pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated battery and was sentenced in February 2016 to five years in prison, with credit for time served.
Caddo Parish jail records show that Williams was released in March 2016. He became the suspect in triple shooting later that year.
Records show that Williams was charged with second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in connection with a shooting on Travis Street that claimed the life of 18-year-old Bobby Evans in October 2016.
Police reported after the shooting that one of the surviving victims fearfully and reluctantly identified Williams as the gunman from a lineup. Both surviving victims eventually stopped returning phone calls from law enforcement.
The prosecutor who handled the case told 3-Investigates there were two problems with the potential prosecution. The main issue was witnesses were not certain who the shooter was. Also, the two victims were reluctant to testify. They also could not positively identify Williams as the shooter.
Caddo District Attorney James Stewart said without the testimony, a Grand Jury returned a no true bill and the charges against Williams were dropped in September 2017.
Stewart said witnesses that are unwilling to work with investigators is a common problem across the U.S., which local law enforcement is working to address.
"SPD and the sheriff's office and the state police keep grinding and keep trying to build relationships in the community. Keep talking to people to give them the courage to come forward when you build relationships, and they have a sense of trust," Stewart said. "They're are some good people who come forward. However, there are cases where people do not want to come forward and they do not."
Compounding the problem was that multiple shell casings were found at the scene, indicating there could have been two shooters.
Williams is in the Caddo Correctional Center charged with three counts of second-degree murder, with a total bond set at $2.25 million.
Stewart said it is important to remember that past criminal activity or allegations are not evidence in future criminal investigations. Williams will be prosecuted based on the facts of this month's triple homicide.