Alabama sheriff shot and killed while answering a call, authorities say

Marty Roney

Montgomery Advertiser

Published 11: 37 PM EST Nov 23, 2019

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – An Alabama sheriff was shot and killed Saturday night.

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams’ death was confirmed by a fellow sheriff, Derrick Cunningham of Montgomery County. The incident occurred about 8: 15 p.m. Saturday.

Cpl. Jess Thornton said that agents from the State Bureau of Investigations are on the way to Lowndes County but did not release the nature of the deployment. Several law enforcement sources confirmed that Williams was answering a call at a convenience store in Hayneville, about 20 miles southwest of Montgomery, when he was shot.

“I’m saddened to hear about Sheriff Big John Williams, who was tragically killed this evening in the line of duty.  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,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a release Saturday night. “He will be remembered as a consummate professional and pillar of his community.”

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Several law enforcement sources confirm an active search is ongoing Saturday night for the suspect in the shooting.

Williams was born and raised in Lowndes County and graduated from Calhoun High School in 1976.

He “always wanted to make a difference in his community and felt there was no better way to help his community than to protect and serve them in law enforcement,” according to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office connection.

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In 1978, he started volunteering as a reserve deputy, and for three years in the 1980s he was in the Hayneville Police Department until full-time work with the sheriff’s office.

In 1990, he was appointed to chief deputy and served in this capacity until leaving the department in 2009.

In 2010, he ran for sheriff and won the position and has held onto the role since.

Lowndes County is located in the Black Belt has population of about 11,000 people.

Contributing: Kirsten Fiscus

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