GRAND TERRACE, Calif. (KABC) --People gathered to pay their respects to a security guard who was killed in a shooting at a Grand Terrace roller skating rink during a party on New Year's Eve.
Witness Michael Marcoly said he assumed the gunshots he heard were simply part of a New Year's Eve celebration.
But the gunfire Marcoly heard was from a shooting outside the Cal Skate Roller Rink. Marcoly is a long distance truck driver who was parked across the street asleep. One of the bullets hit near his sleeper cabin.
"I jumped up because it was so close and I looked out the window. I saw muzzle flashes coming from this side and saw the security guard returning fire," Marcoly said.
The security guard he saw was 48-year-old Richard Williamson, who family and friends called Big Will. The Riverside resident died in the gun battle and another security guard and bystander were injured. Both of them were treated and have been released from the hospital.
"There were kids everywhere people everywhere and he took the focus of the gunfire on him. So he died a hero," Marcoly said.
Williamson owned the security firm hired by the roller rink. The rink was hosting an all-night New Year's Eve celebration when the suspect was asked to leave and opened fire in the parking lot.
Outside Williamson's Riverside office, people stopped by to leave flowers and offer their condolences to his family. His family said he died doing what he loved.
He did what he was put here on earth to do. Unfortunately, he lost his life doing it, but that was his purpose," said Nena Everage, Williamson's mother.
Police are still searching for the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department WeTip hotline at (800) 782-7463.