20-Year-Old Charged in Ferguson Cop Shootings

But Jeffrey Williams claims he wasn't aiming for police: prosecutor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 15, 2015 1:29 PM CDT
Updated Mar 15, 2015 2:00 PM CDT
Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, center, speaks during a news conference alongside St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, right, and Police Captain Stephen Spear, March 15, 2015, in Clayton, Mo.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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(Newser) – The 20-year-old man charged in the shooting of two St. Louis-area officers had been at the protest outside of the Ferguson Police Department earlier that night, authorities said today. St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch says 20-year-old Jeffrey Williams told authorities he was firing at someone with whom he was in a dispute, not at the police officers. Williams is charged with two counts of first-degree assault, one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle, and three counts of armed criminal action. The officers were shot early Thursday as a crowd began to break up after a late-night demonstration that unfolded after Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson resigned in the wake of the scathing federal Justice Department report.

It found widespread racial bias in the city's policing and in a municipal court system driven by profit extracted from mostly black and low-income residents. "We're not sure we completely buy that part of it," McCulloch says, adding that authorities are not ruling out that other people may be charged in the ongoing investigation. McCulloch says information provided by the public led to a search warrant for Williams' home, where a .40 handgun was found—the same caliber as shell casings found at the scene, CNN reports. Williams, who is black, is being held on $300,000 bond. The north St. Louis County resident was on probation in St. Louis County for receiving stolen property, McCulloch says.

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