The St. Louis County Police Department has announced it has made an arrest in connection to the shooting of two police officers last week during a protest near Ferguson's police headquarters.
The suspect, 20-year-old Jeffrey Williams, has been charged with two counts of first degree assault, one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle and three counts of armed criminal action. He is being held on a $300,000 bond.
Williams reportedly had been part of the group of protesters who gathered outside the Ferguson Police Department in response to the news that police chief Thomas Jackson was stepping down. According to St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch, Williams told police that he was aiming at someone with whom he was having an argument and didn't intend to shoot the police officers.
The incident occurred early Thursday as demonstrators began to disperse. One police officer was shot in the face and the other in the shoulder. They were released from the hospital Thursday afternoon. Several Black leaders, including President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, condemned the shootings and both stated that they hoped this incident would not detract from the efforts of peaceful protesters to bring change to the beleaguered city.
“This arrest sends a clear message that acts of violence against our law enforcement personnel will never be tolerated. The swiftness of this action is a credit to the significant cooperation between federal authorities and the St. Louis County Police Department," Holder said in a statement Sunday afternoon. "The ATF’s ballistic imaging technology has played a critical role in the ongoing investigation. I commend both the ATF and St. Louis police for their tremendous work in identifying this suspect."
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(Photo: REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant/St. Louis American)