Moody, AL – Moody Police Department (MPD) Sergeant Stephen Williams was murdered in the line of duty by a gunman on Tuesday night.
The attack occurred just before 9:30 p.m., after the 50-year-old sergeant responded to a call at the Super 8 motel on Moody Parkway, The Birmingham News reported.
Sgt. Williams was shot multiple times at some point during his encounter with two suspects, according to WBRC.
A neighbor told The Birmingham News that he was in his room when he heard gunfire erupt next door in room 214.
He hid in his bathtub until he saw blue police lights flashing outside.
That’s when he looked out the window to see what was going on.
“I saw one of the officers,” he told The Birmingham News. “He was down.”
Another witness told WVTM that she heard the officer yelling at the suspects to “get down” before at least 50 gunshots rang out.
When the witness opened the door to her own room, she saw Sgt. Williams lying on the ground.”
“He had gotten shot in the face,” she told WVTM. “He was laying right outside our door and then we watched them drag him away.”
The suspects – a male and a female – have been taken into custody.
The witness said she heard the suspects arguing prior to Sgt. Williams’ arrival, WVTM reported.
Sgt. Williams was rushed to University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham, where he was pronounced dead, The Birmingham News reported.
Additional details regarding the shooting have not been released.
The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) are handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal altercation.
“He was awesome,” MPD Chief Thomas Hunt told The Birmingham News in the wake of the sergeant’s murder. “He was just a good man, a good person, fun to be around.”
The 23-year law enforcement veteran was also a mentor to his fellow officers.
“A lot of the guys looked up to Steve,” Chief Hunt told The Birmingham News. “All I can ask is for everybody to please be in prayer for the Williams family and for the Moody police department.”
Sgt. Williams spent 20 years serving the Bessemer Police Department before he joined the MPD three years ago.
He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2019.
Sgt. Williams was also the recipient of the Keith Turner Officer of the Year Award.
MPD Officer Keith Turner was fatally shot in the line of duty in 1998, The Birmingham News reported.
“Moody Police Sergeant Stephen Williams’ end of watch has come much too soon,” Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Jay Town said in a statement to The Birmingham News. “Our condolences and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow officers. His loss is a loss for all of Alabama. This serves as yet another heartbreaking and stark reminder of the perils encountered by law enforcement each day.”
Sgt. Williams leaves behind his wife and three children, WBRC reported.
A fundraising campaign established to help his family in the wake of his murder has raised over $5,800 so far.
“Beyond his career in law enforcement, he was a father, and now, three children are left without their dad,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement on Wednesday. “We must not forget Sgt. Williams’ ultimate sacrifice was that of his family.”
“He served the Moody Police Department with distinction and had a long, honorable career in law enforcement,” Ivey said. “In the end, he died a hero, fulfilling the oath he swore to do – to uphold the community he served.”
The governor called for an end to the “senseless violence” that led to the beloved sergeant’s death.
“Every day, brave men and women who wear the badge put their lives on the line in order to keep us safe. We are greatly indebted for his service on our behalf,” Ivey said. “I ask the people of Alabama to join me in prayer for his family, friends and his brothers in arms.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Moody Police Department Sergeant Stephen Williams, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Sergeant Stephen Williams, your life mattered.