An 18-year-old accused of fatally shooting a sheriff in Alabama is the son of another lawman in a neighboring county. Chase Johnson was charged with murder in a brief court appearance Monday, the New York Times reports. Police say the teen, who allegedly shot Sheriff John Williams of Lowndes County at a QV gas station Saturday night, is the son of a deputy at the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Officials in both counties have declined to name the suspect's father, or say whether he knew Williams. The AP reports that court records show that Johnson was arrested earlier this year on charges of possession of brass knuckles and possession of alcohol by a minor, which were dismissed after he performed community service at an animal shelter. The teen is now being held without bond.
Residents of Lowndes County say "Big John," who was first elected sheriff in 2010, was a beloved member of the community who was "always willing to help anybody at any time," AL.com reports. Witnesses say Johnson shot the sheriff after Williams approached a pickup truck that was playing 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," Charles Benson tells the Montgomery Advertiser. "That's when he got shot. I don't understand it. The sheriff is gone over loud music? It just don't seem right." Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Dec. 2, the day Williams will buried. (Read more Alabama stories.)