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NBA star’s social media manhunt yields arrest

Michael Williams is accused of stabbing Tanganyika Hoover—his wife and Matt Barnes's aunt—in the neck.


Ramon Ramirez


Posted on Jul 30, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 8:59 pm CDT

Yesterday, a social media-spurred manhunt by Los Angeles Clippers small forward Matt Barnes paid off when 51-year-old Michael Williams was taken into custody in Sacramento, Calif., for allegedly stabbing 48-year-old Tanganyika Hoover, his wife and Barnes’s aunt.

Barnes had been using his Instagram and Twitter accounts over the past week to help catch the alleged murderer, including this July 22 post of Williams’ mugshot along with a contact hotline.

This dude stabbed my auntie in the neck last week & left her for dead on the sidewalk, she ended up…

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) July 22, 2014

Williams was believed to be hiding out in southern Sacramento before his arrest, which was attributed to a “citizen tip.” Williams and Hoover were staying with a friend the morning of July 8 when Hoover was found, stabbed in the neck and dying, outside their friend’s residence. Williams fled the scene and was instantly implicated.

Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers said Barnes’s profile proved helpful: “Having his name attached with us and helping in this investigation will help us actually solve this matter,” he told ABC News. Following the arrest, Barnes turned to Twitter to express his gratitude.

Thank you guys for your support & tips that brought a murder to justice. Love y’all!

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) July 29, 2014

Also a big thanks to @SacPolice …..

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) July 29, 2014

Barnes also turned outward and existential about crime, privilege, and justice—going so far as to send a macro-thinking tweet to the president.

Mr @BarackObama we have to show the youth there’s a better way.. We are the most powerful country in the world, yet we are losing our -cont

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) July 29, 2014

Moms Dads Brothers & Sisters daily. Let’s take care of home b4 we take care of the rest of the world! Just had to get that off my chest-cont

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) July 29, 2014

In the wake of this tragedy it makes me realize how bless I am.. Because I play in the “NBA”my voice was heard, but what about all -cont

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) July 29, 2014

The people who aren’t professional athletes or entertainers who’s family members are being killed daily, how do they get justice?

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) July 29, 2014

No further details about the arrest or alleged murder have been provided by local law enforcement.

Photo via Eamon Curry/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Jul 30, 2014, 9:03 am CDT