Michael K. Williams' Death Reportedly Triggers Criminal Investigation

A criminal investigation has reportedly been launched following the death of actor Michael K. Williams. Williams, who was best known for his portrayal of Omar Little on The Wire, was found dead inside of his Brooklyn residence Monday afternoon. Although his cause of death has not yet been determined, the New York Post reported drug paraphernalia was found in the apartment, with a law enforcement source also telling PEOPLE it is believed Williams had heroin laced with fentanyl. The circumstances surrounding his passing have since triggered a criminal investigation, TMZ reports.

According to law enforcement sources who spoke to the outlet, detectives with the New York Police Department are currently conducting an investigation "into the origin of the narcotics" found at the scene. Authorities were called to the actor's Brooklyn residence after one of Williams' relatives went to check in on him after having not heard from him for several days. While an official cause of death is pending the results of an autopsy, which could take weeks, TMZ's sources said it is believed narcotics were involved. Authorities are now attempting to locate the alleged drug dealer. The alleged investigation, however, has not been publicly confirmed by the NYPD.

Born in Brooklyn, Williams began his career with jobs dancing in music videos for acts including George Michael and Madonna. After landing his first film role as Tupac Shakur's brother in the 1996 film Bullet, Williams went on to land the role of Omar Little on The Wire in 2002, remaining on the HBO series until 2008. Williams also starred in fellow HBO series Boardwalk Empire, The Night Of, and Lovecraft Country, which earned him his fifth Emmy nomination in July. Williams also received Emmy nominations for his work in the 2015 telefilm Bessie, The Night Of, Vice, and Ava DuVernay's When They See Us. On the big screen, Williams starred in Gone Baby Gone, Brooklyn's Finest, The Road, 12 Years a Slave, The Gambler, Assassin's Creed, SuperFly, and Inherent Vice, among many others.


Williams' death was confirmed Monday in a statement from his representative that read, "it is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss." The actor has been remembered online by those in Hollywood, with director James Gunn remembering him as not only "one of the most talented actors around," but also "one of the kindest, sweetest, most gentle souls I've ever met." The actor's cause of death is pending the results of the city's medical examiner.