Channel 2 Action News was in court when Fulton County prosecutors dropped the charges against a pastor accused of shooting a 13 year old boy.
Channel 2’s Tom Jones was the only reporter in the courtroom when Pastor Alex Williams heard the charges would be dropped. "I thanked the Lord," Williams said, after hearing the prosecutor's decision.
Williams faced aggravated assault charges for the May 2011 shooting of a 13 year old boy outside his church on McDaniel Street in southwest Atlanta.
Williams said a group of young men had been harassing him and vandalizing his cars.
He said the boys threw rocks at him on one occasion. That's when he said he noticed one of the young men with a gun.
"I saw him reaching to get his gun out and I went on and fired. I told him ‘y'all can't do that,’" Williams said.
As the young men ran away, police said a bullet struck the 13 year old boy in the leg. He survived the shooting.
Police then charged the Williams with aggravated assault.
In a Fulton County courtroom Friday, prosecutors announced they would no longer pursue the case.
District Attorney Paul Howard sent a statement explaining why saying, "After an extensive investigation of this matter, we discovered that the group of boys who were with the young man who was shot by Alex Williams did in fact throw rocks at the defendant, his van and the church building, precipitating Williams' defense response.
“At least one of those young men had a gun in his possession. We have been unable to determine whether the weapon was a real gun or a BB gun but we have located witnesses who saw the group leaving the scene immediately following the incident with that firearm in tow.
"Additionally, we have interviewed a number of people from the church neighborhood who indicate the boys were a constant source of disruption to residents. We have also learned that the young man who was shot during this incident is now in custody himself.
“Based upon the charges against him we deemed his credibility as a witness to be further diminished," the statement read.
"Thus, the charges against Alex Williams have been withdrawn and we will not move forward with prosecution."
Williams told Jones he is ready to move on with his life but said he can't because teens are still targeting him and his church.
He showed Jones where someone threw rocks through the window of one of his vehicles.
When asked if he would shoot again if he was harassed or rocks were thrown at him, Williams was quick with an answer. "Yes. I don't have no choice if I want to live. Cause I could have been dead," he said.
Copyright 2011 by . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.