The man who wounded two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri has been arrested after a massive manhunt. A city prosecutor said the suspect has admitted to the shooting.
Authorities announced Sunday that an arrest had been made in the shooting of two police officers outside the Ferguson Police Department. St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said in a press conference that the suspect, Jeffrey Williams, had fired on the two officers from a car using a handgun.
The 20-year-old Williams has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault and gun violations. McCulloch confirmed that Williams had been involved in the Ferguson protests and had been demonstrating before the shooting took place.
Williams allegedly shot the two officers early on Thursday, March 12. Both survived by one suffered a shoulder wound and the other a facial wound. Jeffery Williams had already been on probation for possession of stolen property, McCulloch said. He was arrested after a massive manhunt.
"He has acknowledged his participation in firing the shots," McCulloch told reporters.
Both President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the attack that came on the heels of a scathing March 4 report from the US Justice Department finding that the St. Louis county police departments were rife with racial bias, prompting Police Chief Tom Jackson to resign and renewed protests in the St. Louis suburb that has brought simmering racial tensions to the surface since the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer last August.
After Jackson's resignation, the city manager, a municipal judge, and two police officers also left their posts in the wake of the report.
Protests began in Ferguson last summer after a grand jury, led by McCulloch, decided not to press charges against Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown. The US Justice Department has criticized policing in St. Louis as mostly targeting black residents, particularly over trivial traffic violations, in an effort to boost city coffers. These tactics created an atmosphere of distrust and put undue pressure on the city's poorest residents.
es/sb (AP, Reuters)