The tragic incident that unfolded on Newton Avenue early Sunday morning, leaving Uniondale in shock and mourning, has cast a somber cloud over the community. The street was engulfed by a heavy police presence between Edgemere and Amsterdam avenues, all day on Oct. 29 investigating what they describe as a domestic disturbance turned deadly.
Two lives were tragically lost in what police are calling a murder-suicide on a husband and wife. 45-year-old Ralph Williams, fatally shot his wife, 43-year-old Vanessa Johnson-Williams in their home, before ultimately turning the gun on himself, ending his own life.
Officers from the first precinct responded to the scene on Sunday morning following a distressing 911 call that was placed just after 7 a.m. According to the homicide squad, the call was made regarding a “violent domestic incident involving a handgun” at 612 Newton Avenue Once Nassau police arrived at the scene, they made a gruesome discovery — finding both Ralph and Vanessa lying unresponsive in a pool of blood in their bedroom, both bearing injuries from gunshot wounds.
Both people were quickly transported to Nassau University Medical Center, where Vanessa was pronounced dead at 7:49 a.m. by hospital staff. Ralph was still alive at the time and continued to receive medical care for his injuries while being listed in serious but stable condition — with detectives confirming he later died from his injuries. Authorities have clarified that, at this point, no further information can be shared as the investigation is still ongoing.
In the wake of this tragic event, neighbors in the area have shared their shock and experiences. Some mentioned that a barbecue was held at the house the night before, adding to the overall shock factor of the incident, while others added that gunshots were unfortunately a common occurrence in the area.
Kristan Wadell, a Uniondale resident and friend of Vanessa, shared her grief on social media. “She was my friend and I am deeply saddened by her passing,” she said in an exchange on Facebook.
Destine Gooden, a Uniondale resident who lives nearby Newton Avenue, says she is saddened by the news of a neighbor passing away. “It’s a shame that someone had to lose their life, that is really sad,” said Gooden.
The community remains on edge, awaiting further information and hoping for a resolution to this heartbreaking incident. “I pray whoever’s mom, grandma, and sister, that is, that they find their peace,” said Gooden.