Manny Fernandez and John Eligon, March 15, 2015
CLAYTON, Mo. — A 20-year-old man was charged with first-degree assault in the shooting of two police officers in front of the Ferguson Police Department early Thursday morning, according to Robert P. McCulloch, the prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County, who announced the charges in Clayton on Sunday.
The man, Jeffrey Williams, acknowledged firing the shots, Mr. McCulloch said.
He said that Mr. Williams, who is from north St. Louis County, was inside a car “at least for some of the shots.”
The weapon used was a .40 caliber handgun, Mr. McCulloch said, and the authorities have recovered it.
Mr. Williams was in custody, Mr. McCulloch said. He stressed that the investigation was continuing and that additional arrests may be made. The suspect was found through information provided by community members.
Mr. McCulloch said that Mr. Williams indicated that he had a dispute with some people who were in front of the police headquarters, “which had nothing to do with the demonstrations that were going on.” Mr. Williams indicated that he was firing at the people he had the dispute with, the prosecutor said. “He has stated that he may have had a dispute with some other individuals,” Mr. McCulloch said. “I’m not sure we completely buy that part of it. But in any event, it’s possible he was firing at some other people.”
“He is a demonstrator,” Mr. McCulloch said. “He was out there earlier that evening as part of the demonstration. He’s been out there on other occasions, part of the demonstrations.” Mr. Williams was on probation for receiving stolen goods, Mr. McCulloch said.