When a gunman opened fire early Thursday on two young men outside an Inland roller rink where 200 skaters were ringing in the New Year, 6-foot-4 security guard Richard “Big Will” Williamson stepped in front of them and fired back. Williamson, 48, of Riverside and the owner of Big Will’s Security Services was hit in the 2 a.m. shooting and he died about an hour later, authorities said.
Two other men – both in their 20s – were shot but their wounds were not life-threatening, according to authorities. One was a guard employed by Williamson’s firm. Their names were not released. It wasn’t clear whether the assailant was struck by gunfire. Williamson’s daughter, Rebecca, said the younger security guard suffered a minor injury from a bullet wound to the side of the head.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, which provides police services under contract in Grand Terrace, continued to investigate and had yet to make an arrest as of late Friday afternoon, said sheriff’s Cpl. Randy Naquin. He declined to provide details.
The shooting occurred in the parking lot outside the skate rink as it hosted an “all-night” event scheduled to run from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday. The event featured a midnight ball drop. A man answering the telephone at the rink Friday said no one could talk about the incident. He said the rink was closed Friday as a result of the shooting.
When shots first rang out, Marcoly said he thought it was “just New Year’s Eve knuckleheads shooting their guns off.” But then he saw a man in the parking lot shooting from about 40 yards away at the younger security guard and a patron standing a few feet in front of an exit door. Marcoly said he later learned the shooter and a friend had been inside the rink and one of them became angry over losing a hat.