MOODY, Ala. (WIAT) — Charges are ‘imminent’ in the shooting death of Moody Police Sgt. Stephen Williams, according to St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray.
Williams was killed Tuesday evening after responding to a reported disturbance at the Super 8 Motel off Moody Parkway.
A man and woman were taken into custody. Both are expected to face charges, though specifics remain unclear.
“I would rest assured that we have the right person of interest in custody at this point and charges will be imminent,” said Sheriff Billy Murray, who added that charges could come as early as Thursday.
The two persons of interest are from the Birmingham area, but Murray declined to release additional details on a possible motive. He said numerous weapons were involved and that bullets were fired ‘randomly and directly.’
“There was an immediate engagement and with that has made this investigation very broad and complex because of the size of it,” said Murray.
Deputies and state investigators with ALEA spent most of Wednesday collecting evidence.
So far, it does not appear the incident was related to ongoing protests across the country.
“There’s nothing in the investigation at this point that links any of this to any protest that is going nationwide. I would more along the lines go with what’s happening nationwide with drugs, mental health and just various issues,” said Murray.
Meanwhile, neighbors and friends remembered the fallen officer, who left a mark on every life he touched.
“I worked with Stephen. I knew him for 15 years. He was just an incredible human being. When you see what is going on in the world right now and what the community is begging for in its police department, he was the person that epitomized what they want,” said Chris Fisher.
Fisher is a former police officer and is now involved with the Facebook Page, ‘Humanizing the Badge.’
Williams was one of the first officers involved in the project that aims to bridge gaps between officers and the community. It is also used as a resource to help prevent police officer suicide.
Williams often helped officers in need of counseling.
“He saved countless lives that way. We won’t let him be remembered only as a cop who got killed in the line of duty. He was so much more,” said Fisher.
Before serving in Moody, Williams spent time in the Alabaster and Bessemer Police Departments. He has served in law enforcement for 23 years.
“When you hear about somebody that you know has been killed and somebody that you’ve worked with has been killed, that just puts an extra strain on you, opens your eyes a little bit more to the things that you encounter on the job, day in and day out,” said Lt. Christian Clemons with Bessemer Police.
Clemons worked with Williams for about a year and half earlier in his career.
“Through the comradery you build relationships and Sgt. Williams built great relationships just in the short amount of time he was with Bessemer,” said Clemons.
Williams was also a talented singer. He performed in front of fellow officers at the Moody Christmas party in 2018. He was also involved in the Moody Chamber of Commerce’s dance contest with children.
In 2018, Williams installed a basketball goal for children in a local apartment complex. Friends said he loved helping people.
“We are all deeply sorry and offer the family our condolences,” said Sheriff Murray.
A training officer was also with Williams when he responded to the call in his marked patrol vehicle. No other officers were injured.
“There were numerous weapons involved and as you can tell by the size and scope of this scene that Sgt. Williams and all the surrounding officers that were responding were in a fight for their life when they arrived here,” said Murray.
A memorial fund has been set up for Williams’ family at the Metro Bank in Moody. He leaves behind a wife and three children.
“Sgt. Williams, like all of us, knew when he took the oath of office, that one day he would be put in a position where he could possibly have to sacrifice his life, and he did that last night. And he should be thought of and honored for that,” said Murray.
Stay with CBS 42 for the latest on the investigation.
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