DOCUMENT: Sports, Crime

Jayson Williams 911 Call

Athlete's brother claimed victim shot himself

MARCH 20--Moments after Jayson Williams shot a limousine driver who was visiting the former basketball star's New Jersey mansion, the athlete's brother told a 911 operator that the victim was drunk and had actually shot himself in the chest with a shotgun that he had removed from a display case in the athlete's bedroom.

In a frantic February 14, 2002 call to police, Victor Williams claimed that driver Costas Christofi, 55, "just picked up a loaded gun, he didn't know what he was doing. He picked it up and it just shot him in the chest." Repeatedly claiming that the shooting was an "accident" and that Christofi shot himself "by mistake," Williams told the police dispatcher, "Oh my God, we're so fucking nervous, man. He, fucking guy he's drunk, he grabbed a fucking gun out of the thing, man. Shit!"

According to prosecutors, Jayson Williams was drunk and playing with a 12-gauge Browning shotgun when the weapon discharged, hitting Christofi--who was standing three feet away--in the chest. The former New Jersey Net has been charged with a variety of felonies, including first-degree manslaughter, that could land him in jail for nearly 55 years.

Following a legal appeal by the Bridgewater Courier-News, the New Jersey Court of Appeals yesterday ordered Hunterdon County prosecutors to release the 16-minute Williams 911 call. To listen to the recording, just click the link below.

Click here to listen to an MP3 of the Williams 911 call.