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Girlfriend describes East Bluff shooting victim as ‘charismatic and funny’

PEORIA (WEEK) — Lon-Ziara Williams says her boyfriend, 24-year-old Julius Burnside, was known for being charismatic and funny and just got back on his feet.

On Thursday (July 11), Burnside was shot four times, once in the neck, family members said.

“I was really, really scared because I’m, like, OK, his body went through so much work — surgeries and all this stuff,” Williams said.

In February, Burnside was the only survivor in a car crash that killed his brother and cousin. Williams, now sharing disappointment that her boyfriend was the victim again, she says for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“People have children out here … It just needs to stop,” said Williams, referring to the violence.

She said she’s been praying for him constantly and relies on updates from the family in the meantime.

“They said that he was alert when they arrived. Then, they said he was in critical condition and that just did it — I bawled,” Williams said, describing the moment she found out.

It wasn’t until two hours later she received the phone call update, from one of her friends telling her to check Facebook. Then it hit her, after reading countless messages posted to Julius’ page, urging him to ‘be strong’ and ‘push through’ his injuries.

Despite her fears and anxiety, Williams say she’s remaining confident; adding Burnside pulled through once and she knows he’ll do it again.

“He is very strong. I told him, ‘You’re a walking blessing,” Williams said.


Drew Veskauf

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