Lowndes County Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams shot and killed; 18-year-old suspect surrenders – AL.com


Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams was shot and killed Saturday night time whilst in the line of responsibility. Right after about a a few-hour manhunt, the 18-12 months-old suspect in the fatal shooting returned to the criminal offense scene and surrendered. A gun was taken from him at the time he turned himself in.

The shooting happened shortly immediately after eight p.m. at a QV convenience retail store at the intersection of Highway 21 and Freeway 97 in Hayneville in Lowndes County. Authorities and Williams’ relations explained the sheriff responded to the retail outlet when the operator called lawmen simply because there was a crowd hanging out in the parking lot and he desired them dispersed.

ALEA Trooper Sgt. Steve Jarrett and ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor spoke with the media late Saturday night, calling Williams’ loss of life a blow to the regulation enforcement neighborhood. “It’s a very unfortunate time for Lowndes County and the condition of Alabama,” mentioned Jarrett, who stated he had recognised Williams for most of their law enforcement professions.”

“He was a fantastic male,” Jarrett claimed. “Everybody in regulation enforcement realized him. If you ever fulfilled him, you’d in no way overlook him. He labored 24/7 and was an fantastic sheriff.”

Williams is the fifth Alabama law enforcement officer killed this 12 months in the line of duty. He leaves guiding a spouse and small children, who had been on the scene. “We’re having good treatment of them,” Jarrett claimed.

Condition Bureau of Investigation agents are on the scene, claimed ALEA Cpl. Jess Thornton. Also on the scene is Montgomery Sheriff Derrick Cunningham, a close pal of Williams. The Alabama Sheriff’s Affiliation place out a get in touch with for all probable assistance and sheriffs from all around the state are heading to Lowndes County.

Calhoun County Sheriff Matt Wad was amid people who responded to the connect with for assistance. “He was as high-quality a guy you’ll ever locate. He always experienced a type phrase for everybody,” Wade claimed. “It’s just heartbreaking.”

“He was a great close friend,” mentioned Michael Jackson, the district legal professional for Alabama’s Fourth Judicial Circuit, recalling a time when Williams drove to Birmingham to decide up Jackson when he was stranded at the airport. “Man, this hurts.”

“He was a terrific sheriff but an even improved particular person,” Jackson mentioned. “He actually cared about the Black Belt. He came in excess of to Selma numerous periods to assist struggle the gang problem.”

Soon after 10 p.m., the Alabama Regulation Enforcement Agency issued a Blue Notify for the 18-calendar year-previous suspect, William Chase Johnson. Johnson is a white male. He is 5-feet, 9-inches tall and weighs 137 pounds. Johnson was believed to be touring on foot and considered a severe possibility to the community. Johnson was past found at the QV gas station the place Williams was killed.

The suspect was reportedly in a stolen motor vehicle. The stolen automobile is believed to have been abandoned and recovered and the suspect is believed to be on foot. “He will be caught,” Jarrett stated.

Just following midnight, authorities reported, Johnson returned to the criminal offense scene and surrendered. ALEA cancelled the Blue Alert at 12:24 a.m. Sunday.

Johnson is from Montgomery and the son of a regulation enforcement officer. He was arrested in August on a charge of currently being in possession of brass knuckles and becoming a slight in possession of alcohol, but these costs had been afterwards dismissed, according to court docket data.

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“Sheriff Williams constantly desired to make a distinction in his local community and felt there was no greater way to aid his community than to secure and provide them in law enforcement,’’ reads the bio on the internet site.

Williams in 1978 begun volunteering as a reserve deputy beneath then Sheriff John Hulett.

From 1984 through 1987, Williams worked for the Hayneville Police Section until he commenced doing the job whole time with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. He not only worked full time with the Sheriff’s Office environment, but continued his employment with Hayneville Law enforcement Department.

From 1987 to 1990, Williams served as a deputy. In 1990, he was appointed by Sheriff John Hulett to chief deputy and served in this ability till leaving the office in 2009.

In 2010, he productively ran for sheriff and was reelected once again in 2014 was at the time yet again elected.

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams

Deardra Pinkett, Lowndes County Sheriff’s John Williams’ niece, explained, “Violence is never ever the solution.” (Fb)

Williams’ niece, Deardra Pinkett, explained the spouse and children is devastated. Her partner had worked as a deputy less than Williams and they located out about the slaying on Fb.

“We’re hurt,’’ she reported. “My young ones are devastated.”

Williams leaves at the rear of a spouse and two adult children – a son and a daughter. His son was at the store when the deadly capturing happened. Pinkett claimed the retailer owner named 911 due to the fact there was a massive crowd outside that he preferred dispersed.

Pinkett mentioned she’s thankful that the suspect surrendered. “He’s taken a person away from a ton of folks,’’ she explained. “I’m glad he turned himself in due to the fact it wasn’t heading to change out excellent for him. So numerous folks were being upset.”

Her uncle, she mentioned, was effectively-loved. “He was a serious people today man or woman,’’ Pinkett explained. “He was always assisting people.”

His dying, she reported, was senseless. “Violence is under no circumstances the remedy.”

Current at nine:fifty two a.m. to include statement from U.S. Attorney Jay City.