Saint Louis County police confirmed Sunday that a 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the Thursday shooting of two police officers during protests in Ferguson, CNN is reporting.
— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) March 15, 2015
Early Thursday morning, as protesters in Ferguson were demonstrating in response to the resignations of the city’s police chief, an assailant shot two police officers. Police initially believed the shooter, or shooters, used a long-range weapon to fire at the officers from cover on a nearby hill. One was shot in the cheek, just below his right eye, and the other was shot in the shoulder, with the bullet exiting his back. Both officers were treated and released.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 13, 2015
The shooting brought violence to an otherwise peaceful protest. Other protesters have decried the violence, saying that the shooter’s actions don’t speak for the thousands of peaceful protesters in Ferguson, says Saint Louis alderman Antonio French.
“As the protest was dying down, someone, somewhere got violent. Now who they were and what group they were affiliated with, we don’t know. In no way are they representative of the thousands of people… who have been protesting.”
USA Today has identified the suspect arrested in connection with the Ferguson shooting as 20-year-old Jeffrey Williams. He’s been charged with two counts of assault in the first degree, one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle, and three counts of armed criminal action.
Saint Louis police had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in connection with the shooting. NPR reports that information provided by the public did lead to Williams’ arrest; however, it’s unclear, as of this post, if any reward money has been, or will be paid.
St. Louis County Chief of Police Jon Belmar made it clear that he believes the shooter targeted his victims simply for being police officers.
“These police officers were standing there, and they were shot just because they were police officers.”
As of this post, it is not clear if Williams’ arrest brings the investigation into the Ferguson police shootings to a close, or if more arrests are forthcoming.
[Image courtesy of: ABC News