Police identify 17-year-old shooting victim

Police identify 17-year-old shooting victim

Jose Ortiz Martinez, 18, of Woonsocket, has been charged in the murder of 17-year-old Nyasia Williams-Thomas. Two juveniles have also been charged with murder and conspiracy in the case, which is ongoing.

UPDATED: This story was updated on Dec. 6 to reflect new charges. More details on this case as they unfold will be published in next week's edition.

WOONSOCKET – Police say the bullet or bullets that struck and killed 17-year-old Woonsocket resident Nyasia Williams-Thomas on Dec. 4 were intended for a 14-year-old male passenger in her vehicle.

On Dec. 6, the Woonsocket Police Department announced it was charging an adult and two juveniles, all from Woonsocket, with first-degree murder and conspiracy to attempt murder.

The adult is 18-year-old Jose Ortiz Martinez, of Cato Street.

The juveniles are both 17-years-old.

Asked whether one of the suspects is the cousin of the victim, Chief Thomas Oates said he would not comment on family relationships at this point, adding that the investigation is still "very much active and ongoing."

At around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, police found Williams-Thomas slumped over the steering wheel of her car in the middle of Village Road near the Plaza Village apartment complex. Police had responded to reports of shots fired near 160 Village Road.

When they arrived, police began administering CPR on Williams-Thomas, who was in the driver’s seat. Rescue personnel later transported her to Landmark Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Police say Williams-Thomas was parked a short distance away in the apartment complex when the shooting began. She attempted to drive away from the shooter, hitting several parked vehicles before coming to a stop in the middle of the road. At the time police found it, the vehicle had heavy damage.

Two other individuals, an adult female and a juvenile male, were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting. They were not injured, according to police, who later told reporters that the shots were intended for the 14-year-old male passenger.

While three suspects have been charged, Oates said detectives are looking at other suspects as well.

At this time, Oates would not confirm the motive of the crime. "I know, but I can't say," he said when asked during a press conference on Friday.


The world is very different from when I was growing up... I see no reason for 14 and 17 year olds to be out after 8 PM on a school night ... Today's parents are very irresponsible and the reason for the youth of today being the way they are ... Maybe it is time for laws to be made for children to have a curfew of 8 PM on school nights and 9 PM on weekends instead of running the streets ...