Local News

Boys saw mother stabbed before officers shot her boyfriend

Posted December 7, 2016
Updated December 8, 2016

— Two boys, ages 11 and 9, saw their mother being stabbed Wednesday night in Fayetteville, police said, before jumping out of a window and running to a neighbor's house to call 911.

"My mother got stabbed by her boyfriend," the 11-year-old told an emergency dispatcher. "We jumped out the window and ran to our friend’s house."

Fayetteville Interim Police Chief Anthony Kelly called the child's call "tragic."

While police were headed to the home in the 800 block of Bedrock Drive to see if they could save the boys' mother, dispatchers took another call.

"I just killed somebody," a man said. "She’s gone. I’m sorry. I killed her."

Five officers entered the home to find Mark A. Hicks, 31, holding a knife, standing over a woman who was lying in a pool of blood, Kelly said.

His girlfriend, Amanda Williams, lay dying.

Officers ordered Hicks to drop his weapon, but he did not comply. Officers then made an ineffective attempt to shock Hicks with a Taser before moving in to handcuff him, at which point he lunged at officers with the knife in hand, Kelly said.

An officer fired his weapon and Hicks was killed, Kelly said.

"It's just a tragedy. It's very bad, very sad," said neighbor Omar Dawson. "It could have been prevented."

Hicks' criminal record shows a history of violence, drug possession and theft of both vehicles and firearms. His most recent prison term lasted almost 8 years and ended in August 2015.

Hicks' grandmother, Louise Hicks, said her grandson likely acted in self-defense and pointed the finger at Williams.

"He wasn’t no violent person, but she was violent," Louise Hicks said of Williams. "She’d pull a knife on a person in a minute."

Asked about those claims, Kelly said there was no history of calls to the home for domestic violence.

Kelly described footage captured by police body cameras as "graphic," and said some of those images would be released to the public after a review.

"The amount of blood that was in that house, it's pretty graphic for the public to witness that," he said.

He did say police would allow the Williams and Hicks families an opportunity to review any video before it is released to the public.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident, as is standard with any officer-involved shooting. Kelly said five officers were on the scene but it was not immediately clear how many shots were fired or how many officers fired their weapon.


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  • Karly Whittaker Dec 9, 2016
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    Here goes someone trying to stir the pot as always. Get a life. This is a sad story and my thoughts are with those young boys who will probably never get over seeing their mother killed in front of them.

  • Steven Brown Dec 9, 2016
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    I hope there's help available for the grandmother also, she obviously has mental issues of her own.

  • Mike Brody Dec 8, 2016
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    Grandmother may have to learn to be quiet. That was slanderous and defamation of character towards the deceased. I'm sorry the children had to witness this heinous crime against their mother. This murderer deserved worse.

  • Kathryn Adams Dec 8, 2016
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    What on earth are you talking about? Police shooting to death a knife-wielding man standing over the body of a woman he just STABBED TO DEATH is a completely different situation from a police officer shooting an unarmed man. In the back. As he was running away.

  • Ron Coleman Dec 8, 2016
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    His grandmother said he was not a violent person, I am sorry but a non violent person does not stab to death his girlfriend in especially in front of her two little boys. I hope there is help available to these two young fellas to deal with what they witnessed.

  • Bryan Jeffries Dec 8, 2016
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    "now we wait for the comments of how police shouldn't have killed him, he was a law abiding citizen blah blah blah....come on we all know there on here somewhere"

    What does that assumption have to do with the story? It's pretty clear this is justified. Good grief. Some people aren't happy until they're whining.

  • Susan Olvera Dec 8, 2016
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    William, I doubt that. They are certainly cases where an unarmed person has been killed by the police and video camera reveals it to be at best, involuntary manslaughter and the officers should be held accountable. However, this man clearly was a danger, he'd just murdered a woman in front of her children and he had a dangerous weapon in his hand. The police did the right thing. I don't envy their jobs. They probably had to walk next door and tell children their mother was dead. Tragic and horrific for these babies. The only solace might be in knowing he can't come after them next. Those poor innocent children, they just witnessed more than what an average active deployed military person sees.

  • Matt Clinton Dec 8, 2016
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    Made by people who have no training and don't understand how dangerous a man with a knife can be or how effective or ineffective the various means of stopping a threat can be.

  • William Price Dec 8, 2016
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    now we wait for the comments of how police shouldn't have killed him, he was a law abiding citizen blah blah blah....come on we all know there on here somewhere