A 20-year-old man was charged with assault in the first degree for last week’s shooting of two police officers during a protest in the troubled city Ferguson, Missouri.
FERGUSON, MISSOURI, UNITED STATES (MARCH 15, 2015) (NBC) – A 20-year-old man was charged on Sunday (March 15) with assault in the first degree for last week’s shooting of two police officers during a protest in the troubled city Ferguson, Missouri, a crime that was condemned by the White House.
The suspect, Jeffrey Williams, has admitted to firing the shots and was from the general St. Louis area, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, adding, “it’s possible at this point that he was firing shots at someone other than the police, but struck the police officers.”
The St. Louis suburb has been racked with protests since a white police officer killed unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer. The slaying sparked an intense national debate over race and policing that has fuelled demonstrations around the country.
Williams, an African American who had been on probation for possession of stolen property, was arrested after a massive manhunt. Tips from the public and video evidence helped in the investigation, McCulloch said.
“He has acknowledged his participation in firing the shots,” McCulloch said.
The suspect appears to have used a .40 caliber handgun and was firing from a car, McCulloch said, adding it is possible that he was shooting at someone else.
In the shooting early on Thursday, a 41-year-old county police officer suffered a shoulder wound and a 32-year-old colleague from a nearby police department sustained a facial wound that left a bullet lodged near his ear. Both were treated and released by a local hospital.