X

Sheriff's Shooting Death Raises Question of Race

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams was killed in the line of duty
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2019 6:10 PM CST
A photo provided by the Elmore County Ala. Sheriff's Office shows William Chase Johnson, a suspect in the fatal shooting of Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams Saturday night, Nov. 23, 2019 in Haynesville,...   (Elmore County Ala. Sheriff's Office/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Law enforcement agencies in Alabama and beyond posted messages of condolences on social media Sunday in the aftermath of the fatal weekend shooting of a sheriff in the state, the AP reports. Few details were immediately available about the circumstances surrounding Saturday evening's shooting and the capture of an 18-year-old suspect hours later. Gov. Kay Ivey tweeted that Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams had been "tragically killed" in the line of duty and that she offered her prayers and sympathy to his family and the county sheriff’s department. 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.

The suspect in custody was identified as 18-year-old William Chase Johnson. Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham initially told news outlets that Williams was shot at a gas station. It was unclear what, if any, role race played in the shooting. The sheriff was African American. Meanwhile Sunday, amid messages of condolence from law enforcement agencies, members of the public responded with prayers and well wishes for the sheriff's family. The state had issued an emergency alert late Saturday saying it was seeking an 18-year-old white man last seen around the time of the evening shooting at a QV gas station in the Lowndes County seat of Hayneville, about 20 miles southwest of the capital city of Montgomery.

(Read more law enforcement stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results  |  
6%
2%
63%
3%
7%
19%