Daniel T. Williams acted irrationally and threatened his 71-year-old mother's life in the days before he shot Officer Kathleen ''Katie'' Conway, his family said Tuesday.
His sister was so worried about his actions she called police on him hours before he turned a .357 Magnum on Officer Conway.
''He does have a history of assault,'' Rozena Williams told police during the call. ''My mother's afraid to leave the house.''
Police came to her mother's home to talk about their concerns, but, because Mr. Williams was not there, just listened and left.
On Tuesday, the family gathered at that same Over-the-Rhine home - only a few hundred yards from where Mr. Williams died - in shock over the shooting and the fact the 41-year-old they knew as quiet and generous would do such a thing.
Daniel T. Williams
''He never talked bad about the police,'' Ms. Williams said. Mr. Williams' mother, Cleotha Williams, walked around the home silently, tending to the grandchildren and saying only, ''I'm sorry you had to come here for something like this.''
Mr. Williams may have never spoken ill of police officers, but he had a history of encounters with them.
He'd been arrested 17 times in Hamilton County since 1986, with 10 convictions. Most of the arrests were for minor offenses, with the most serious being one charge of domestic violence and one charge of felonious assault.
Despite his past, his family said they had no reason to fear him or expect his dark turnabout when he returned to Cincinnati three weeks ago from a trip to New York.
Mr. Williams frequently took trips out of town for months at a time.
''He'd come here and stay about two months and then leave for New York or Miami or somewhere else,'' Rozena Williams said.
She said he did not have a steady job and lived off of government disability checks. He did a stint in the military but never told his parents or his two sisters and five brothers about what disability he had, how much money he got, or how he spent it.
''He was a very private person,'' she said. ''He really didn't want us to know about him.''
Apparently he thought his mother, who at one time had access to his bank account, had taken $6,000 from him, his sister said. He arranged to purchase a gun illegally and said he was going to shoot his mother.
''He told several relatives he was going to do this,'' Ms. Williams said.
Mr. Williams' daughter, Jamila Turnbow, 23, said her father might have been confused and spent the money himself. She said he was generous about spending on others.
''He called me up last week for my birthday and said come on over and get your birthday present,'' she said. ''When I got there, he gave me $200.''
She said her father - who called her once a week when he was out of town - was nice, but moody.
''He was the type of person who would click sometimes,'' she said. ''You could say something that made him mad and not know he was mad. Some days he didn't want to be around people and wanted to be by himself.''
Harold Long, who, along with his wife, Marcella, manages the Dennison Rooming House on Main Street downtown, where Mr. Williams lived, said he was a quiet tenant.
''He was very polite; never gave me any trouble,'' he said.
Mr. Williams stayed on the fourth floor of the 115-room boarding house. He checked in Jan. 9, and also had stayed there last summer. Marcella Long said she did not know he owned a gun, or how he made his money to pay his rent.
Debbie Murrell, 40, another resident of the boarding house, said she had known Mr. Williams for several years and they had coffee together a few days ago.
She suspects he had mental problems.
''This just isn't like him,'' she said. ''He's got a sweet personality. I don't think he was taking medication that he should have been taking.''
Colleagues praise officer's quick action
Sequence of events
A determined, caring officer
Police attacks less frequent, more deadly
Officer shot; suspect dead
Audio and transcipt of police radio calls