Murder-suicide suspect was recently released from jail for CDV

Published: Jun. 18, 2013 at 1:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 26-year-old man who authorities say shot and killed a 34-year-old woman before taking his own life Tuesday morning was released from jail last month for allegedly assaulting the woman earlier this year.

Peter Centil Williams was charged last month with second-degree criminal domestic violence in connection with an incident that happened in February where he is accused of punching Zakiya Lawson in the face at a home on Buck Pond Road in North Charleston.

According to a police report, Williams was picked up on May 16 at the Berkeley County Jail, where he was locked up on another charge, and served an arrest warrant for criminal domestic violence.

Court records state Williams was given a bond of $25,000 on May 17.

Coroner Chris Nisbet said Williams shot and killed Lawson before he turned the gun on himself and took his own life Tuesday morning.

According to North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor, police responded to a home in the 4600 block of Thoroughbred Drive around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday after receiving reports of a domestic disturbance between Williams and Lawson, who both live at the home.

Once at the scene, Pryor said officers were able to clear several people from inside of the residence.

Nisbet said Lawson was running in and out of the door, shouting that "he had a gun."  Nisbet said officers tried to get Lawson to say outside, but she kept going back in.  Officers were also trying to call him out of the residence, according to the coroner.

The female went back in once more, and when the officers were getting ready to breach the door, shots were heard from inside the home, according to Nisbet.

Once inside, officers located Williams and Lawson.

Officers were later seen bringing clothes and toys from the house and giving them to family members.  Nisbet said Lawson leaves behind seven children, five of whom were inside the home at the time of the shooting.

The couple was not married, according to the coroner.

On Feb. 26, officers responded to a home on Buck Pond Road in reference to a physical domestic dispute.  A police report states, when police arrived, Williams had already left the home.

Authorities found Lawson bleeding with a swollen nose and blood on her clothes. When investigators spotted blood on the floor, Lawson said she had already mopped the floor.

According to Lawson, she had broken up with Williams after dating for a year. Lawson reported that Williams came over looking for their child, who was at a grandmother's home.

Lawson said following an argument, she asked him to leave. Lawson told police Williams then put his hands in her face.

According to an incident report, when Lawson swatted Williams' hands away, Williams punched her with a closed fist in the face, striking her nose. Lawson told police she was in fear for her life at that point.

Lawson said Williams left after she called the police. The investigation is ongoing.

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