Arrest Made In Ferguson Police Shooting
ARUN RATH, HOST:
After a three-day manhunt, police in Ferguson, Mo., have arrested a suspect in the shooting that wounded two police officers early on Thursday morning.
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BOB MCCULLOCH: We have filed charges just a few minutes ago against Jeffrey Williams. Jeffrey Williams, a 20-year-old man - he is now charged with two counts of assault in the first-degree for the two police officers who were shot.
RATH: That's County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch making the announcement earlier today. McCulloch added that the suspect has acknowledged that, quote, "he did, in fact, fire the shots that struck the two officers." Emanuele Berry of St. Louis Public Radio was there and joins us now. Emanuele, what more can you tell us about the suspect, Jeffrey Williams?
EMANUELE BERRY: So we know that Jeffrey Williams was a 20-year-old African-American man. He's from the north St. Louis area. He was actually at the protest that night and had participated in demonstrations in the past. McCulloch said that he also had outstanding warrants for not checking in with a probation officer. He's been charged with two counts of first-degree assault for the officer shootings in Ferguson. He's also charged with firing a weapon from a vehicle, in addition to some other counts. He's being held on 300,000 cash bond.
RATH: The prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, also gave some details about what may have happened that night. What did he say?
BERRY: Yeah. At this point, you know, he was very clear about emphasizing that this is an ongoing investigation and, you know, this is the information that they have so far. So far, Williams has claimed that there was a dispute earlier in the night. And McCullough says, you know, it's possible that there was a dispute. They can only go off of the evidence that they have at this point. And it's unclear if the police officers were actually the target of the shooting from Williams - his story and what he's saying. He says that Williams was in a vehicle on a side street, and the shots were fired from that car. And they have recovered a weapon, and it matched the shells of the casings that they found on the scene. So it looks like what happened that night - it's - we're still not really positive. Sure, according to Williams, you know, it might not have been directly at officers, but once again, still ongoing.
RATH: Now authorities have been offering a reward for information in this case. How did they - how did the police say they got to the suspect?
BERRY: They said that, you know, it did come from the information that people were providing them. It was a result of, you know, the public contacting law enforcement and providing them this information. And they're continuing to urge people to provide them with more information because, you know, they don't have a complete picture yet. So anyone else who has information - they're wanting them to come forward to help continue with this investigation.
RATH: Emanuele, Ferguson has been on edge for so long, since the protests that began after the shooting death of Michael Brown. What has the reaction to this arrest today?
BERRY: I think that - I don't think people are that surprised that, you know, someone was eventually arrested and charged and is being charged. It's been relatively calm. I haven't seen too much activity going on at this point in regards to anyone protesting or anyone holding any sort of gathering regarding it. So I think that, you know, so far it's calm and there hasn't really been too much of reaction to it 'cause I think, in a way, it was expected.
RATH: Emanuele Berry with St. Louis Public Radio in Ferguson. Emanuele, thanks very much.
BERRY: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.