By Erica Thomas, managing editor
MOODY — Following the shooting death of Moody police officer Sgt. Stephen Williams, St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray said he has been overwhelmed with the community response.
Murray said he has received several calls concerning the good work and character of Sgt. Williams.
“He was a very good man to have in our profession and he left his mark, he left a mark on positive influence,” Murray said. “That’s not me reading something, that’s the way it is. That’s the type of calls I’ve been getting.”
Murray said even in Williams’ last Facebook post, he was thanking a man for buying his dinner through the drive-thru.
“Another gentleman called me last night,” Murray continued. “The man had bought several officers dinner at a restaurant several months ago and Sgt. Williams ran him down in the parking lot. Williams was busy with another person that was asking about filing a report after the dinner, but he saw the man and rushed across the parking lot to thank him for doing that. That’s just the type of guy he was.”
The sheriff spoke to the Williams family and said he wants them to know about the great things the community is saying about their loved one.
“To Sgt. Williams’ family, we cannot offer our respect and condolences enough,” Murray said. “You hear all too often about law enforcement getting it wrong, but this is a 23-year veteran that got it right all the time.”
Williams set an example of what community policing is all about, according to Murray, by engaging with the community. Murray hopes all law enforcement officers recognize the importance of their jobs and are able to continue doing good work.
“I’m amazed every day at the job they do,” said Murray. From being in this line of work for 28 years, I know how difficult it is and many of the officers were very good friends with St. Williams. He was the type of person, he had many friends, he was very well respected in law enforcement circles.”
To those who worked with Williams, Sheriff Murray said they will be challenged at this time.
“I want them to have the ability to know how important it is to stay focused and continue to get the job done under the most extreme circumstances,” he said. “They have my respect and they always have.”
Williams, a husband and father of three, was gunned down at the Super 8 on U.S. 411 in Moody at around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. He had been promoted to sergeant in the past year and was honored with the Chief’s Award of Excellence during the 2019 Christmas Banquet.
“He was awesome,” Moody Police Chief Thomas Hunt said the night of Williams’ death. “He was a good man. A good person, funny to be around.”