The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 7, 2013

Reward offered in shooting

Police seek leads in Richland murder

JOHNSTOWN — A $4,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the suspects behind a Richland Township man’s murder.

Richland Township investigators said Monday that Cambria County Crimestoppers is offering $4,000 for information and eventual prosecution of two men they believe targeted 38-year-old Robert T. Williams Jr. that day.

Detective Thomas Keirn said he is hopeful the sum will spur new leads into what he called “a violent, nasty homicide.”

And up to this point, mysterious, too.

Police say they have more questions than answers as to what happened the night Williams was gunned down.

“We’re pursuing different leads and trying to make a determination as to who the people are involved,” Keirn said, noting local surveillance video is being reviewed. “But we’re hoping for help.”

Williams was shot around 8 p.m. Thursday in his Lydia Drive home, possibly by men who knew him, police said.

Williams died Saturday from the injuries.

Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski ruled the death a homicide Sunday following an autopsy that showed he died from two gunshot head wounds.

Kwiatkowski said Williams received no other injuries in the incident.

The Richland Township man is survived by a fiancee, two children, his mother and five sisters, his obituary shows.

“He was a wonderful, big-hearted guy,” his sister, Terri Meek, said.

She said he was much like his father, longtime Greater Johnstown school board member Robert Williams Sr., who died in 1997.

“He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it,” she said, calling her brother a compassionate man “who wanted to provide well for his kids.”

Williams grew up in Horners-town and was a Greater

Johnstown High School graduate, Meek said.

He worked for a Westmoreland County-based tree removal service and also had his own landscaping business, she said.

Williams was an avid Steelers fan who loved cooking and cars, his obituary shows. (The obituary can be viewed on Page B7 or at

Family members said they do not know why Williams was fatally shot Thursday, or who pulled the trigger.

Williams’ murder is Richland Township’s first in more than 20 years, records show.

It’s still unknown how the pair, described as black men, were able to get inside his home. Robbery might have been the motive, investigators said.

Police are still trying to determine what possessions, if any, were taken, Keirn said.

He declined comment when asked if a weapon was recovered at the scene.

Court records show Williams was charged in the Johnstown area with drug charges in March 2001. He eventually was sentenced to six years in a federal prison.

“At this point, we don’t know if there’s a (correlation) there,” Keirn said. “We’re not ruling anything out.”

Richland Detective Kevin Gaudlip said Williams had been living in the Lydia Street home for about two years but had been living in Richland for at least three.

“What we do know,” Gaudlip said, “is that this was a cold-blooded killing. And this is a concentrated effort to get a resolution to the case as quickly as possible.”

Meek said Williams’ family is praying for answers, and for closure.

“No one deserves to die like this,” she said. “If anyone has information they think might help, please contact the authorities, so my brother can rest in peace.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • bank1 West End bank robbed

    The West End branch of AmeriServ Financial was robbed Tuesday morning, two days before the branch is scheduled to close.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather_2 Old Man Winter returns to area

    Just when you think we’ve finally escaped the cold temperatures, winter swoops back in to remind us it’s not going away just yet.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 15, 2014

  • City seeks support for sewer revamp

    The city is looking for backup from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority in spreading what they call “true” facts and figures regarding the city’s encompassing sewer revamp.

    April 15, 2014

  • Airport gets lift with $180G grant

    The John Murtha Johnstown–Cambria County Airport needs to replace some basic maintenance equipment: a pickup truck, painting machine, chain saw, weed eater, hand tools and more.
    So, on Tuesday, the airport’s authority agreed to accept Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation grant money that already has been tentatively allocated.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cresson asks court to force ex-chief to sign pact

    An agreement reached more than a month ago between Cresson Borough Council and its former police chief still has not been signed, and the borough is asking a judge to intervene.

    April 15, 2014

  • hamer 16 Mom told to seek help for addiction

    A Johnstown woman charged with tossing her 4-month-old baby and with drug-related offenses pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Cambria County court on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • District hopes refinancing will save additional $40G

    Refinancing about $4 million in debt will result in savings more than twice as large as initially expected, Windber Area school board members learned Tuesday night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Elder justice events set

    In an effort to combat elder abuse in area communities, an elder justice seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24 at the Johnstown Senior Center, 550 Main St., downtown Johnstown. In addition, a free elder abuse clergy training seminar will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. April 25 at Moxham Lutheran Church, 500 Park Ave., Johnstown.

    April 15, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/16/2014

    April 15, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads