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Effort underway to build skate park to honor IU student killed in New York City

Posted at 11:28 PM, Dec 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-26 09:55:59-05

INDIANAPOLIS — An effort is underway to remember Ethan Williams. The 20-year-old was hit and killed by a stray bullet while visiting New York City in October.

Two months later, his family and friends are working on a way to honor his life and legacy. After his death, his family began to learn how much of an impact Ethan had on those around him.

His father, Jason Williams, says it started at his son's memorial service.

"From Bloomington, from IU, from Chicago, from everywhere. He knew kids from everywhere and the stories were all similar. 'Hey, Mr. Williams. You don't know me, but one time, Ethan said this to me or one time, Ethan did this for me,'" Jason said.

He even learned Ethan had convinced a young woman to not take her life.

"She said because he called me, I'm standing here, telling you this story. She said 'I'm very sorry you lost your son, but I'm here because of him.'"

While Ethan will have a lasting impact on those he met, his friends want a more physical way to honor him. Because he loved skateboarding, they had an idea.

"After he died, a group of skaters from the community came to me, and said there's a skate park that's supposed to be built in the city," Jason said. "We want it named after Ethan."

That's all the motivation Jason needed to get to work. The idea is to name the proposed skatepark at Willard Park after Ethan: Ethan's Skatepark at Willard Park.

You can see the video that was made to go along with the push to help raise the money needed by clicking the link below.


Along with his father, Ethan's brother, friends, even legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, took part in the video.

Highlighted in the video is something Ethan was especially passionate about, equity and equal access for all kids. His father says that was the main reason he was on the Mayor's Youth Council of Indianapolis

"He wanted the city to have access to all kids from all neighborhoods to have safe places that were well lit, where they could play and do the things he was allowed to do growing up," Jason said. "If we can scrap up a little bit of good from all of this and push it forward in the world, because that's what he would have wanted. We're going fight for that and we're going to do that."

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