The man in custody on charges of shooting two St. Louis County police officers early Thursday morning was an active participant in an anti-cop protest early in the eventing, but told authorities he did not intend to shoot the wounded officers.
He said he was shooting at other protesters he had a dispute with earlier and the officers were struck instead.
It’s clear prosecutors don’t entirely believe him.
The suspect, Jeffrey Williams, 20, an African-American who is on probation, has been charged with two counts of assault in the first degree, firing a weapon from a vehicle and three counts of armed criminal action.
At a news conference Sunday, prosecutor Bob McCulloch said Williams’ claim that he was not gunning for the police might be proven false during the course of the investigation.
The prosecutor said Williams'”has acknowledged firing the shots” that struck the two officers.
While Williams claimed he wasn’t shooting at police, McCulloch noted that the man was an active participant in the protests the night the two officers were shot.
“We’re not a hundred percent sure that there was a dispute,” McCulloch said. “It’s possible that there was a dispute and it’s possible that he was targeting the police officers. We just have to wait for the investigation to develop more fully.”
According to McCulloch, Williams hadn’t shown up to his probation officer for the past seven months and had a warrant out for his arrest.
He told reporters the weapon recovered from Williams, a handgun, matches shell casings at the scene.
St Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters the two police officers who were shot are “getting better, not getting worse.”
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