DeKalb County

Sister says man visiting Brookhaven killed by stray bullet was ‘a beautiful person’

BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — A metro Atlanta family wants answers after a weekend shooting killed a man.

Matthew Willson was in bed Sunday when a stray bullet hit him.

Family members are devastated by the senseless shooting.

On Friday, Channel 2′s Matt Johnson spoke to Willson’s sister and girlfriend who are still trying to make sense of the randomness and the tragedy that killed him.

His girlfriend and other neighbors say random gunfire in the area has been a problem for months.

A neighbor gave Johnson video from December where you can hear gunshots.

Brookhaven police say the shooting happened around 2 a.m. Sunday.


Willson was only three days into a three-month trip to metro Atlanta to visit his girlfriend when the stray bullet hit him in the head and killed him.

His girlfriend told Johnson that the two met at Georgia State University three years ago while studying astronomy and Willson earned his Ph.D. in the field.

Sunday morning, she says they woke up to the gunfire but thought there was no way a bullet could pierce the wall. The next thing she knew he had been hit.

Willson’s sister told Johnson they’re worried the shooters may not even know the consequences of their actions.

“They were just shooting a gun for fun. And they don’t even know that they’ve taken such a beautiful person from us,” his sister said.