From The Tribune Staff Reports
MOODY — A gathering of community support for fallen Moody police Lt. Stephen Williams on Sunday evening raised nearly $5,000 for his family and the Moody Police Department.
The event was put together to honor the memory of Williams and to show support to the police department and his family. In all, the event raised $4,800 as hundreds of people showed up at the Moody Civic Center on Sunday evening to pay their respects for the fallen officer.
The event followed a memorial ride at 2:13 p.m. on Sunday that began at the civic center and wound its way through the neighborhoods previously patrolled by Williams.
Williams was killed following a shootout at the Super 8 in Moody. The events leading up to the shooting are vague, but Moody Police Chief Thomas Hunt said that Williams was shot on arrival.
St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray added that once the officers responded to the call, which came from the room where the incident happened, the situation escalated very quickly. Two suspects were taken into custody after law enforcement cleared the hotel room, ensuring no other suspects were inside. After the scene was secured, investigators said they found multiple firearms inside the hotel room.
Following the shooting, Williams was transported to UAB Hospital by ambulance where he was pronounced dead. A medical helicopter had arrived to the scene, but was not used.
The officer’s oldest son, Lake Williams, struggled to keep his emotions in check as he spoke before an overflow crowd — Both of William’s sons serve in the U.S. Coast Guard.
“My dad was the single greatest man I’ve ever known,” Lake, who recently graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, said. “He lived his life with a set of moral principles and values, values like putting others before yourself, living your life with love and always taking the opportunity to goof off while it comes. I’ve had many feelings over the past few days: confusion, sorrow, uncontrollable anger but one thing I’ve never felt was alone. My dad knew a lot of people, touched a lot of lives and in turn you all have looked up for us. I’ve been telling myself, ‘Dad I’m not ready, I can’t do this without you,’ but deep down I know, and he knew, that he had given me everything I need to grow up to be a man who honors his family and do good in this world just as he did. I love you, Dad, and I miss you every day.”
Hunt said Williams was a “true leader” who loved to sing karaoke when not on duty.
“He brought so much to our department and community,” Hunt said, standing before Williams’ flag-draped casket.
Williams was in law enforcement for more than two decades and was named the city’s Officer of the Year in 2019. Officials announced his promotion to the rank of lieutenant following his death. He joined the Moody police for three years ago. He had previously at the Bessemer Police Department before transferring to the Alabaster Police Department and then to the Calera Police Department.
The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office charged Tapero Corlene Johnson, 27, of Birmingham and Marquisha Anissa Tyson, 28, of Birmingham, with capital murder in the slaying of Williams.