Today, St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch charged Jeffrey Williams, a twenty-year-old resident of St. Louis County, with the shooting of two police officers at the Ferguson Police Department early last Thursday morning. One was shot in the face, the other in the shoulder. Both are now recovering at home.
According to McCulloch, Williams has "acknowledged his participation in firing the shots."
"He is a demonstrator," McCulloch said at a press conference Sunday afternoon. "He has been out there on other occasions."
However, McCulloch said, that it is possible Williams' intended target was not law-enforcement officers, but rather someone he had a "dispute" with and that his actions had nothing to do with the protest. He is charged with two counts of first-degree assault, firing a weapon from a vehicle and three counts of armed criminal action. He is currently in custody with a $300,000 cash-only bond.
From the probable-cause statement:
On March 12, 2015, the defendant Jeffrey Williams shot a St. Louis County police officer and a Webster Groves police officer at 222 S. Florissant Rd. in St. Louis County, causing serious physical injury to the officers. The defendant was inside a motor vehicle during the shooting. A weapon was recovered. Physical evidence was recovered at the scene of the incident. The defendant admitted his involvement.
The handgun recovered matched shell casings found at the scene. It is a .40-caliber pistol.
Tony Rice, an activist who tweets under the name @search4swag wrote in a short message to Daily RFT that he does not recognize Williams.
"Hell NO!" he wrote. "He is not a protester."
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Williams' girlfriend says that he was not a regular at actions in Ferguson:
Danielle Dear, 27, who said she is pregnant with Williams' child, told a reporter in a telephone interview Sunday afternoon that she had spoken with Williams that morning.
"He just told me that he was involved in a shooting with some people. He said it wasn't police," Dear said. "I didn't really want to know anything else."
Dear, who said she is around Williams often, said she doesn't believe that he was a regular protester in Ferguson.
Here are the documents charging Williams, released earlier this afternoon. We will continue to update this post as we learn more.
Email the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.