Alabama deputy sheriff’s son, William Chase Johnson, is arrested for shooting dead the sheriff of a neighboring county ‘during a confrontation over loud music at a gas station’
Sheriff John Williams of Lowndes County, Alabama, was shot and killed in the line of duty on Saturday evening
The sheriff died at around 8:15pm while responding to a call at a convenience store in Hayneville
William Chase Johnson, 18, son of a Montgomery deputy sheriff, has been arrested four hours after he sot an officer and fled the QV gas station in Hayneville
William Chase Johnson, had been sitting a stolen truck when the sheriff’s approached him
Witnesses said he then shot Sheriff Williams before fleeing the station on foot
Four hours later, gun in hand, Johnson walked back to the gas station and turned himself in
John Williams [left], sheriff of Lowndes County, Alabama was shot and killed in the line of duty on Saturday evening. The suspect, 18-year-old William Chase Johnson, [right], is alleged to have been in a stolen vehicle when Williams responded to the scene
A man arrested for shooting an Alabama sheriff dead at a gas station in Hayneville this weekend is the son of a neighboring county’s deputy sheriff.
John Williams Sr., who was the chief deputy sheriff of Lowndes County in south Alabama for a decade before he was elected sheriff in 2010, was shot and killed Saturday night at a gas station in Hayneville, about 25 miles southwest of Montgomery, said a spokesperson for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
The alleged shooter, William Chase Johnson, surrendered at the gas station after a four-hour manhunt
Johnson, 18, who is being held on suspicion of murder, has been identified by local nbc news as the son of a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
The teen had surrendered himself into officers’ custody after the shooting and subsequent four-hour manhunt on the weekend, authorities said.
Williams died at 8:15 pm on Saturday, after he was shot while responding to a call at a convenience store near the gas station in Hayneville.
One eye-witness told the Montgomery Adviser that the shooting appeared to unfold over complaints of loud music.
‘Big John comes up and asks the young man about the loud music, just like he has done hundreds of times before. Big John don’t take no foolishness.
‘That’s when he got shot. I don’t understand it. The sheriff is gone over loud music? It just don’t seem right.’
Police spent several hours searching for the alleged shooter, before Johnson turned himself into officers.
But police said Johnson had fled from the gas station after the shooting occurred just after 8 p.m. and then reappeared at the scene at about midnight.
Officers recovered a handgun from Johnson before taking him into custody.
Johnson has a history of run-ins with the law, including an arrest in August for possessing brass knuckles and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
Those charges were later dropped, according to court records.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey released a statement to WSFA-TV which read: ‘I’m saddened to hear about Sheriff Big John Williams, who was tragically killed this evening in the line of duty.
‘Through his service to our country in the United States Marine Corps and his many years working in law enforcement, he dedicated his life to keeping other people safe.
‘I offer my prayers and deepest sympathies to his family and to the men and women of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department.’
Williams, who was known as ‘Big John’ because of his height, was born and raised in Lowndes County.
The website of the county Sheriff’s Office hailed Williams as someone who ‘always wanted to make a difference in his community and felt there was no better way to help his community than to protect and serve them in law enforcement.’
Williams’ career in law enforcement began in 1978, when he first volunteered as a reserve deputy.
In the 1980s, he joined the Hayneville Police Department in a part-time capacity.
Eventually, he was hired as a full time deputy with the department.
Williams notably in 2000 was the arresting officer of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a 1960s black militant who was known as H. Rap Brown before converting to Islam.
Al-Amin was wanted and later convicted in the fatal 2000 shooting of a Fulton County sheriff’s deputy in Atlanta.
In 2007, then-Gov. Bob Riley’s appointment of a white officer to replace the county’s deceased sheriff was met with protests after ignoring commissioners and other elected officials who had recommended Williams for the post. Williams was then elected as Lowndes County sheriff in 2010.
Williams held on to that position since then.
Sheriff Williams is the fifth Alabama law enforcement officer to die from gunfire in the line of duty, and the sixth overall, in 2019, according to a statement from state Attorney General Steve Marshall.