The person who shot two police officers in front of the Ferguson Police Department last week admits to firing the gun, but says he wasn't aiming at the cops, according to St. Louis officials.
Jeffrey Williams, 20, was charged with two counts of first degree assault, one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle, and three counts of armed criminal action, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said in a news conference.
Williams's mugshot. (St. Louis County Police Department)
Williams claimed he was shooting at someone else, possibly because of a personal dispute, McCulloch said.
"We're not sure we buy that part of it," McCulloch said. He added that information from the community led to the arrest early Sunday morning.
Police say the shots came from a motor vehicle, and that there were civilians between Williams and the officers he allegedly shot. They say Williams had been participating in the protest that evening before he came back and fired the shots.
Regular demonstrators told The Huffington Post they've never seen Williams at a protest.
The handgun that was allegedly used in the shooting has been recovered, police said.
The shooting of two officers took place early Thursday evening as a protest in front of the police station was dying down. It happened just hours after former Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson issued a resignation, following other Ferguson officials that have resigned since the Department of Justice issued a scathing report about the city's police department and court system.
Protesters in the city have been quick to distance themselves from the shooting. A vigil for the officers, both of whom are expected to recover, was held on Friday. Organizers condemned the shooting, but emphasized that protests urging a wholesale reform of the embattled Ferguson Police Department will continue.
President Barack Obama on Thursday said "violence against police is unacceptable," and calling for an immediate arrest. Attorney General Eric Holder called the shooting an "ambush," and said whoever was responsible is a "damn punk."
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.