Reward, Jail House Tips Help Crack UT Student Murder Case
Police believe they have identified the man who shot and killed then University of Tampa (UT) student Ryan McCall, nearly three years ago. And they say, a $50,000 community reward and tips from inmates played a critical role in helping to solve the case.
22-year-old David Williams, Jr., a black male, is accused of killing McCall in the early morning hours of August 19, 2009, as he walked home with his friend, Michael Harahan, 24, on North Boulevard.
Williams, armed with a small black pistol, demanded property from McCall and Harahan, both of whom tried to run away. McCall was shot by Williams and died at the scene, police said.
Williams, identified as a person of interest early in the investigation, was never charged with the crime. But police said, a $50,000 reward and numerous flyers posted in jails, including the Orient Road and Faulkenburg Road Jails asking inmates to call Crime Stoppers with information about the case, gave them the break they needed.
Last week, investigators went to South Florida Reception Center where Williams was serving a prison sentence, for a strong arm robbery and two home burglaries he committed, just days after McCall’s murder.
Police said, Williams admitted that he confronted McCall and a second victim and struck Harahan in the head with his firearm. He told police he robbed him of his cell phone and a wallet. However, he claimed a second suspect shot and killed McCall.
Investigators said, there is no independent evidence that a second suspect was involved in shooting McCall. Williams had been arrested on several prior charges including armed burglary and strong armed robbery, police said.
Williams will be transported to Tampa in the near future to face first degree murder, armed robbery and attempted armed robbery charges.