Less than a week after two St. Louis area police officers were shot, a suspect has been taken into custody.
Jeffrey Williams, 20, was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with two counts of first-degree assault, three counts of armed criminal activity and firing a weapon from a vehicle. Williams, who has been on probation on charges of possessing stolen property, told authorities that though he was the shooter, he was not aiming for the two cops who were injured.
The shots were fired on Wednesday night at a demonstration outside of the Ferguson Police Department. The two officers who were seriously wounded have since been released from the hospital.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch described Williams as a protester, but community activists say that that is inaccurate.
“I asked [Williams] why would he say that he was a protester because it makes us look bad—because so many things that we’ve done to rebuild our community,” said Ferguson organizer Bishop Derrick Robinson, who said that he had spoken with Williams, to CNN. “It sets us like five steps back to say that it was a protester who did it, but he admitted to me that he’d never protested.”
Williams’ uncle, Mark Mooney, says that though his nephew hadn’t protested recently, he had taken part in the demonstration shortly after 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed last August.
“After Michael Brown, he was out there protesting,” said Mooney to the New York Times. “He had his shirt on. He had his signs up. After that, when things died down, he died down with it.”
Officials are currently investigating Williams’ motive for the shooting.