By Joshua Huff, sports editor
LEEDS — A fundraiser hosted by Leeds’ Rails & Ales on June 10 raised nearly $15,000 for the family of fallen Moody police Lt. Stephen Williams, the city of Leeds announced on Monday morning.
The fundraiser helped raise $14,297 for the William’s family behind donations from the City of Leeds, Leeds Water Works, private donations and all sales of R&A Creme Ale, Dixie Craft Lager and non-alcoholic beverages. The check presentation took place at Moody Police Department this past Wednesday.
“We really appreciated everything that the City of Leeds had already done, the fundraisers and all of the concern shown to the family of Lt. Williams, the Moody Police Department and the City of Moody,” Moody Police Chief Thomas Hunt said. “Leeds Police responded immediately the night of the call. The two police departments work well together. This has been hard. I never want to see another one of my officers lost in the line of duty.”
Williams was killed following a shootout at the Super 8 in Moody. The events leading up to the shooting are vague, but 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 during the funeral.
“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.