One year after homeless man was shot at a gas station, family frustrated with lack of charges

Head of homeless assistance group says DA’s office told her a grand jury declined to indict William Hawkins’s shooter

San Antonio – The encounter between the two men lasted only seconds, but it carried consequences for a lifetime -- at least for one of them.

A year after William Hawkins, 35, was shot in a downtown gas station parking lot near McCullough Avenue and U.S. 281, his family is frustrated by what they see as a lack of justice. The Oct. 14, 2021, shooting happened in broad daylight and was captured on camera.

The shooter, though, is not currently facing charges.

“I’ll never forget the day that -- when we met with the SAPD, they told us to our face, ‘Trust the legal process. Because that’s where you’ll find justice.’ And here we are today, a year later, with no answer,” Hawkins’s brother, Adam, said during a memorial for Hawkins held Thursday at Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM).

The shooter reportedly told police he had felt threatened, and the DA’s office told KSAT on Friday that a Bexar County grand jury had reviewed the case in February but declined to indict.

“Because this case may be the subject of further review or investigation, we can make no further comment on it,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

CAM President and CEO Dawn White-Fosdick said Hawkins was experiencing homelessness and used her group’s services. She described him as “mild-mannered” and thinks he was approaching the other man to ask for money.

“And it did not appear that he was doing anything violent or scary,” White-Fosdick said.

CAM’s office sits across the street from the gas station. One of its cameras recorded the shooting at 10:11 a.m. that day.

The recording shows Hawkins approaching a man wearing orange as he leaves the Downtown Food Store in the 500 block of Elm Street. Hawkins can be seen getting close to the other man for a few seconds on the driver’s side of his pickup truck.

After a single shot rings out, the other man walks around Hawkins on the ground and drives off.

The man reportedly parked nearby and was questioned by SAPD. EMS brought Hawkins to Brooke Army Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:59 a.m.

White-Fosdick said they shared their video with police, which an SAPD incident report appears to refer to, along with what sounds like additional video. In describing the “video surveillance on scene,” the reporting officer wrote the following:

“V-1 (Hawkins) seemed to walk very aggressively towards S-1 (the other man) which appeared to startle him. S-1 was then unable to unlock his vehicle door due to him walking backwards as V-1 approached. S-1 then drew his concealed weapon to create distance. S-1 fired a single shot into V-1 s chest which caused him to fall to the ground. S-1 walked around V-1 s body, got into his vehicle and left the scene.”

The SAPD report makes no mention of Hawkins having any weapons.

Adam Hawkins said his family isn’t going anywhere.

“We won’t stop until we see justice for William and justice for all of the houseless community who are still part of this community,” Hawkins said.

About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.