20-Year-Old Man Charged in Shooting of 2 Ferguson Police Officers

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A man has been arrested for last week’s shooting of two cops in Ferguson, Missouri. In a Sunday afternoon press conference, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch and police chief Jon Belmar identified the suspect as 20-year-old Jeffrey Williams. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault (among other things) and is being held on $300,000 bond. Williams, who was on probation for receiving stolen property, was already wanted by the police for failing to show up to meetings with his probation officer.

McCulloch said that Williams confessed to the shooting, which took place during a demonstration celebrating the resignation of Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson. McCulloch also said that a search had turned up a handgun that matched the spent cartridges found near Tiffin Avenue, which is where witnesses said the shooter appeared to have been located. (The shots came from a hill around 125 yards behind the crowd of protesters.)

McCulloch told reporters that Williams had been part of the demonstration. Williams apparently told investigators that he left at some point and returned with the gun, which he intended to use against a person with whom he had some kind of fight, as opposed to the police. “It is possible that he was firing at someone other than the police,” said McCulloch. But, he added, “We’re not completely buying that part of it … We’re not 100 percent sure there was a dispute.”

Either way, protesters said that Williams had not been a frequent participant in Ferguson’s demonstrations, which have been happening regularly since Darren Wilson killed Mike Brown last August: