ELIZABETH, NJ - Police Detective Darin Williamson was off duty when one man in a group of five pulled a gun on him in an alley.
He would subdue the suspect with the gun until backup arrived. His heroics were honored at the 200 Club of Union County Valor Awards Luncheon in May and by the city council last night.
“It just feels like it is a blessing being honored by the city that I was born and raised in,” said Williamson, a first class detective.
Williamson showed his badge to the five men after he was asked to check on them while he was eating at a restaurant. He would shoot his gun once after one of the suspects pulled out a gun. No one was injured in the incident, he said.
“Three of them had guns,” said Williamson, who’s worked for the Elizabeth Police Department for 25 years. “So I had to go ahead and let a projectile out in order to protect myself, to get myself out of harm’s way.”
The other men ran once he fired his gun, Williamson said of the March 2016 incident.
“I had the opportunity to y'know, neutralize them. But it's not in my heart to go out there and take what God put out here.”
Councilman-at-Large Manny Grova, Jr. presented a framed resolution to Williamson at last night’s city council meeting to commemorate his actions. The detective’s wife, mother and young daughter looked on.
“That was a big job and he was facing death,” Grova said after the meeting. "He's a great guy, a very good guy."
Williamson was honored at the Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains last month during the 200 Club of Union County Annual Valor Award Luncheon. Two firefighters and seven other police officers in the county also received Valor Awards for their heroics last year.
This is the second Valor Award Williamson has received, he said. He was recognized in 2007 for apprehending a person who pulled a gun out a gun on him and his partner, he said.