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Police Charge Man With Shooting Cops in Ferguson

A 20-year-old man was charged Sunday with shooting the two police officers in Ferguson early Thursday morning.

by Meredith Hoffman
Mar 15 2015, 8:55pm

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Police on Sunday charged a 20-year-old man with the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, early Thursday morning.

Jeffrey Williams, a resident of the north St. Louis area, was arrested Saturday night and claimed he had accidentally shot the officers, St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said at a press conference Sunday.

Williams had been at the Ferguson demonstrations and got into a dispute with someone when he shot the officers from a moving vehicle on a side street, Williams said.

"We're not sure we buy that part of it," McCulloch said of the accidental shooting claim.

The shooting occurred outside the Ferguson police department, where a 41-year-old St. Louis officer was struck in the shoulder and a 32-year-old officer from Webster Groves was hit in the cheek.

Protesters had gathered outside the building in the wake of the resignation of the city's police chief.  The police chief and city manager resigned after a Department of Justice report found evidence of widespread racial bias in the overall city administration. Ferguson's municipal judge also resigned after the DOJ  found that municipal courts profited off of heavily black and low-income cases. 

Williams has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault, firing a weapon from a vehicle, and three counts of armed criminal action, KSDK reported. He could face life in prison if convicted of his charges.

Investigators said they had found a handgun in Williams' home, and the pistol matched the shell cases from the scene. The public helped police identify the shooter, who McCulloch identified as African-American and said he had been on parole for receiving stolen property.

There could be other suspects involved in the incident, McCulloch added, and an investigation is ongoing.

Williams is currently being held on a $300,000 bond.

Follow Meredith Hoffman on Twitter: @merhoffman