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Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Arrest Made in Ferguson Police Shooting

FERGUSON, Mo. (CN) - Police arrested and charged a man with shooting two police officers last week during a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department.

Jeffrey Williams, 20, was charged with two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of armed criminal action, and one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle.

He was in custody Sunday, with cash-only bail set at $300,000.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch said Williams may not have targeted the officers.

"It is possible that he was firing at someone other than the police," McCulloch said at a Sunday news conference.

He said Williams may have been involved in a dispute with other demonstrators, and may have fired his gun from a car at them.

However, "I'm not sure we're completely buying that part of it," McCulloch said.

McCulloch said Williams admitted firing the shots, but not at police.

Either way, McCulloch said, the same charges would apply.

The officers were shot just after midnight Thursday morning. A St. Louis County officer, 41, was shot in the shoulder; a Webster Groves officer, 32, was shot in the face. Both were treated and released from a hospital.

"The swiftness of this action is a credit to the significant cooperation between federal authorities and the St. Louis County Police Department," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday.

"The ATF's ballistic imaging technology has played a critical role in the ongoing investigation. I commend both the ATF and St. Louis police for their tremendous work in identifying this suspect."

Williams was on probation for receiving stolen property and was wanted for failing to report to his probation officer.

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