Alabama sheriff shooting: Funeral arrangements set for Lowndes County lawman John Williams

An Alabama sheriff was shot and killed Saturday night, and the accused gunman has been captured.

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Here are the latest updates:

Update 5:10 p.m. EST Nov. 26: Funeral arrangements for slain Lowndes County Sheriff John "Big John" Williams have been set for Monday in Montgomery, Alabama, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

The service will be held at 11 a.m. at Garrett Coliseum, with visitation beginning three hours before the scheduled start of the ceremony. Williams will be buried at the Original Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church in Hayneville, where the sheriff served as deacon, the newspaper reported.

Update 11:28 a.m. EST Nov. 25: The alleged shooter of Lowndes County Sheriff John "Big John" Williams has appeared in court, charged with the sheriff's murder.

William Chase Johnson, 18, has been ordered to jail, held without bond, reported.

Monday's hearing happened across the street from the convenience store where Williams was killed Saturday, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

Update 3:38 p.m. EST Nov. 24: Lowndes County Sheriff John "Big John" Williams was fatally shot when he approached a truck because the music was loud, the Montgomery Advertiser reported Sunday. According to law enforcement officials and an eyewitness, Williams was asking the driver of the pickup truck to lower the volume when he was shot, the newspaper reported.

Williams approached the truck Johnson was driving and asked him why his music was so loud, the Advertiser reported. That is when Johnson allegedly shot Williams once in the head.

"Right there at Pump 8," witness Charles Benson told the newspaper. "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."

Update 1:30 p.m. EST Nov. 24: William Chase Johnson, 18, suspected of fatally shooting Lowndes County Sheriff John "Big John" Williams, is from Montgomery and is the son of a law enforcement officer, reported. Johnson was arrested in August on a charge of possessing brass knuckles and being a minor in possession of alcohol, but the charges were later dismissed, according to court records.

Williams was born and raised in Lowndes County and graduated from Calhoun High School in 1976, reported, citing the Sheriff's Office website.

Williams was sergeant-at-arms for the Alabama Sheriff's Association. Williams was awarded the 2015 Partner in Education of the Year Award from the Lowndes County Board of Education.

Update 1:19 a.m. EST Nov. 24: According to the Montgomery Advertiser and WSFA-TV, authorities apprehended William Chase Johnson, the man suspected of shooting and killing Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams, shortly after midnight local time Sunday.

Johnson, 18, was carrying a gun as he approached the crime scene in Haynesville at 12:05 a.m. CST, four hours after the deadly shooting, the Advertiser reported. Deputies then took him into custody, according to the newspaper.

Original report: 

An Alabama sheriff was fatally shot Saturday night while responding to a call at a convenience store.

 Sheriff John "Big John" Williams was shot around 8:15 p.m., the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

"I'm saddened to hear about Sheriff Big John Williams, who was tragically killed this evening in the line of duty," Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. "Through his service to our country in the United States Marine Corps and his many years working in law enforcement, he dedicated his life to keeping other people safe. He will be remembered as a consummate professional and pillar of his community. I offer my prayers and deepest sympathies to his family and to the men and women of the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department."

The State Bureau of Investigations investigating. Authorities are searching for two suspects, WAFF reported.

He started volunteering as a reserve deputy in 1978, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. He worked for the Haynesville Police Department from 1984 to 1987 and also worked full time at the sheriff's office. Williams was elected sheriff in 2010 and reelected in 2014.

"We are deeply saddened by the great loss of Lowndes County Sheriff Big John," Montgomery County wrote on social media. "He was a wonderful sheriff and an even more incredible man. To know him was to love him."


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