Family and friends mourned a loss after Willie Tillman died from injuries he sustained in the April officer-involved shooting.
KNWA Reporter Natalie Eucce spoke to his friends and family about his life.
Police said Willie Tillman used deadly force by dragging two officers with his car while trying to escape, after being pulled over.
His family said they do not want him to be remembered by the way he died.
Willie Tillman’s sister, Andrea Tiillman Zachary, was among the mourning and expresses her sorrow.
“We miss him so much because he was always there”, she said.
“We grew up together and he was kind of like a little brother to me”, close family friend, Rodell Livingston said.
Willie Tillman’s family described him as a loving brother, friend and son. And a great father to his three kids and husband to his wife.
“He called me every day, just to check on me, to tell me he loved me,” Andrea Tillman Zachary said.
But after police said Tillman put their lives in danger, they shot him and weeks later, he died from the injuries.
“I just don’t understand, I don’t understand what happened in the car”, said Tillman’s sister Andrea, “It doesn’t make sense to me what the story is.”
Tillman’s sister said the backlash has been unbearable.
“Don’t make him out to be this monster, this person this. What everybody’s making him out to be because that’s not who he was”, Andrea said.
Tillman’s family tells us for weeks they were not allowed to see him in the hospital. He was arrested and guarded by a Washington County deputy. But days before his condition had worsened, they were allowed to see him to say goodbye.
“Even though his death was a tragedy, his family is just rejoiced that he was able to repent and they prayed with him and he gave his life to the lord right before he passed away”, Livingston said.
Tillman’s family told Natalie Eucce his wife and kids will be at the vigil, along with Rodell Livingston. Most other family lives out of town.