Alabama Teen Allegedly Killed Beloved Sheriff After Being Asked To Turn His Music Down
William Chase Johnson is suspected of killing Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams.
November 25, 2019 at 6:24 pm
A white teen who allegedly killed a Black sheriff in Alabama surrendered after a three-hour manhunt.
According to ABC 7, 18-year-old William Chase Johnson is suspected of killing Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams near a convenience store in Hayneville Saturday night. The sheriff was reportedly shot when he approached Johnson and asked him to turn down the music in his truck.
Witness Charles Benson said he saw what happened.
"Right there at Pump 8," Benson told USA TODAY. "Big John comes up and asks the young man about the loud music, just like he has done hundreds of times before. Big John don't take no foolishness. That's when he got shot. I don't understand it. The sheriff is gone over loud music? It just don't seem right."
The suspect came back to the crime scene shortly after midnight Sunday with a gun in his hand and turned himself in, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. He is now being held in Elmore County.
The deputy, known as Big John, was a beloved figure in his community.
"A good man lost his life for nothing, it's just senseless," Steve Webb, a Lowndes County resident, told USA TODAY. "He was filling up his pickup at the store Sunday morning. It's just senseless. The sheriff was a good man. He didn't play any favorites. He didn't care if you were black or white. He was a good man and now he's gone."
Sergeant Steve Jarrett held a press conference Saturday night, saying it's a sad time for Lowndes County and the state of Alabama.
"Big John was a wonderful man," Jarrett said. "If you ever met him you would never forget him. We ask for your prayers for his family and for the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department."
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall also expressed his sorrow in a statement.
“Tonight, Alabama mourns the loss of another law enforcement officer in the line of duty,” Marshall said. “Lowndes County Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams died from gun fire while responding to an incident in Hayneville. Sheriff Williams devoted his life to law enforcement. He gave more than 40 years to public safety in his home county, serving the last nine years as Lowndes County Sheriff. His dedication and experience are irreplaceable."
The attorney general said Williams is the fifth Alabama officer who died in the line of duty this year.
According to AL, the suspect is a Montgomery native and is the son of a law enforcement officer. The 18-year-old was arrested earlier this year on possession of brass knuckles and being a minor in possession of alcohol, but those charges were dismissed.