WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — More than a month since a harrowing gun-point kidnapping in Mexico, a Lake City native, who now lives in Winston-Salem, says he’s haunted by the things he saw.
Eric Williams went to Montamoros, Mexico in early March with his friends Latavia Washington McGee, Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown. They were in Mexico so that Latavia could get a cosmetic procedure done.
Only two of them came home.
“March 3 was the day it all happened,” Williams said. “We took a turn on a little road and a car pulled up behind us and when the car pulled up behind us they flew past us. Then they started shooting, people in the gray car started shooting and as we were riding more cars were coming and shooting.”
The gunshots hit buildings and the group’s vehicle and hit Woodard and Brown as they tried to run away. The kidnappers shot Williams in both legs.
“I look and I see them put my two friends on the back of the truck and load Latavia on and I was the last person to get loaded on,” he said.
The kidnappers, dressed in full fatigues, shuffled the group to a clinic where Eric’s wounds were treated without pain medication.
“I was in room five,” he said. “In room six Latavia was watching Zindell die in front of her. Shaeed was already dead, they had him laying out in the lobby.”
Then they were put into a shack with other men, praying to be rescued.
“They had us drinking out of a one-gallon jug, passing it around to everyone who was drinking water,” he said. “You had to get beat to go to the bathroom.”
Williams said that a kidnapper apologized to him and Latavia, telling them they got the wrong people and promised to get them out. They attempted to escape on their own but failed. Then finally the police showed up.
“I’m laying on top of my two best friends and somebody is coming to save me, it was different and unreal,” he said. “I wish all of us came home.”
The Gulf Cartel took responsibility for the kidnappings, handing over five members to authorities, but Williams said that no apology can replace the hole in his heart.
“It will never be enough for taking my two friends, taking my ability to walk right now, messing up my mental state and messing up Latavia’s,” he said. “I don’t even know what enough would look like, but this is not enough.”
Williams and Latavia talk often, trying to work through the experience together. He encourages anyone thinking of traveling to check advisories for the area they’re going to. He remembers his friends as good, loving people who always checked in on the people they cared about.