Eric James Williams, one of the survivors among the four Americans who were kidnapped by gunmen in Mexico is struggling after seeing two of his friends being killed in front of his eyes. One of the relatives of Eric James Williams, one of the kidnapping survivors, said that he is out of surgery but is in trauma after seeing his friends "killed right in front of him."
Williams, from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was one of four Americans taken hostage in broad daylight on March 3 during a cartel battle in the border city of Matamoros. He was shot in the leg when police rescued him from a shack on Tuesday along with Latavia "Tay" McGee.
Williams, 38, and McGee, 35, were found in a shack in a rural area east of Matamoros on Tuesday. They were taken by ambulance to a hospital in Brownsville, Texas. Shaeed Woodard, 33, and Zindell Brown, a man in his mid-twenties, their other two friends, were found dead in the same shack.
Williams' mother Sylvia, who continues to reside in the Lake City house where her son was raised, declined to talk with reporters on Wednesday morning, but according to his cousin, he had recovered from surgery.
Williams is "talking" right now but is in trauma after seeing the gunman shoot dead Woodward and Brown in front of his eyes.
"He's talking strong and everything. He [is] doing better than what he was," Williams' older cousin Jerry Wallace said, the New York Post reported.
However, Wallace was unable to confirm the type of operation Williams underwent or whether he had been questioned by officials after being rescued.
"He's just upset about his friend getting killed right in front of him â which anybody else would be with the stuff he went through," Wallace continued.
When questioned if it made sense that Williams, who had never left the country before, would travel to Mexico with McGee for a tummy tuck, Wallace said that Williams' decision was typical of his younger cousin's attitude.
"He's a tight friend. If you're a friend, he's a friend," he explained.
Left Only With Regrets and Memories
Wallace said that Brown, Williams, McGee, and Woodard "all grew up together," but reacted angrily when questioned about Woodard's lengthy criminal history, which included drug convictions. Wallace, who also lives in Winston-Salem, claimed that Williams connected with the other three before continuing their trip to the border in North Carolina.
"We didn't find out ... until Sunday that he was even in [Mexico]," he recalled, noting that Williams' wife, Michelle, called Sylvia with the news.
Wallace guessed that after Williams recovered, he would go back to North Carolina. "They got a kid together," he added of the life his cousin made with his wife away from his hometown.
Wallace's updates on Williams' came shortly after Zindell Brown's sister revealed her brother's hesitation about the trip that ultimately cost him his life. "Zindell kept saying, 'We shouldn't go down,'" Zalandria Brown told the Associated Press.
As of Wednesday afternoon, one suspect had been taken into custody in relation to the violent kidnapping. Jose Guadalupe N, a 24-year-old Mexican, allegedly watched over the home where the four were allegedly held hostage and tortured by cartel members.
He may or may not be connected to the notorious Gulf Cartel in the area, according to the authorities.
Williams is seen in a photo from the time the gang was found, crushed and in pain on a filthy floor.