Friday, February 6, 1998
Officer tells of shouts, shots

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Kathleen Conway
Before the gunshots came Daniel T. Williams' screams.

''I'm going to get you!'' Cincinnati police Officer Kathleen ''Katy'' Conway remembers the man outside her cruiser yelling. ''I'm going to get you!''

Seconds later, the 41-year-old downtown man hit her in the head - possibly with his radio - and opened fire with a .357 Magnum outside her open window.

In an interview with homicide investigators Thursday, Officer Conway, 23, said she couldn't remember how many times he fired. But she struggled for her gun as he got into her unlocked cruiser and pushed her into the passenger seat.

Her legs, on the left side of a police computer that sits in front of the dashboard, stayed in the driver's side. She couldn't feel her lower body.

She was able to radio that she was in trouble, but at least 45 seconds passed before she radioed again.

During that silence, she reached her gun - though a bullet had shattered the right hip where her holster rested. She fired twice, hitting Mr. Williams in the head with bullets that entered in about the same place, the Hamilton County coroner's office found.

He slumped in the driver's seat. The next thing Officer Conway knew, her cruiser had clipped an oncoming police car and crashed into a brewery building on Central Parkway.

Conway, shot four times, was upgraded Thursday to fair condition Thursday. She remains in University Hospital.

Her superiors told more details of her heroics Thursday, but they still couldn't explain Williams' motive.

Mr. Williams is the only one who could, said Lt. Col. Thomas Streicher, an assistant chief who commands the police division's patrol bureau. But the division already is planning to incorporate Officer Conway's response into training.

''It's incredible that she could keep her wits about her,'' he said.

Capt. Richard Biehl, acting commander of the internal investigations unit, will spend the next few weeks studying the ambush of Officer Conway.

Investigators are waiting for results of toxicology tests to determine whether Mr. Williams - a man with a history of drug abuse - was drunk or high before the shooting. They are tracing the .357 Magnum to find out how it fell into his hands.

Police also will examine Officer Conway's cruiser and find out whether two other bullets Mr. Williams fired came close to hitting her, Capt. Biehl said.

''We have the same questions - 'Why did this happen?' '' he said. ''We grope for answers.''

Today's report

Officer must have heart of lion Cliff Radel column
Website, donations
Irrational suspects test cops

Thursday's report

Cops: Safety top priority

Wednesday's report

Colleagues praise officer's quick action
Sequence of events
A determined, caring officer
Gunman 'never talked bad about police'
Police attacks less frequent, more deadly

Tuesday's report

Officer shot; suspect dead
Audio and transcipt of police radio calls