Local News

Boys saw mother stabbed before officers shot her boyfriend

Posted December 7, 2016 11:03 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 1:38 p.m. EDT

— 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.