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Alabama sheriff murdered after telling man to turn music down; suspect is a deputy's son from another county

A senseless tragedy

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams. (Image source: WPMI-TV video screenshot)

An Alabama sheriff was shot and killed at a gas station Saturday night after approaching a vehicle to tell the driver to turn the music down, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams Sr., known in his community as "Big John," was shot in the head at a QV gas station near the Lowndes County Courthouse on the downtown square in Hayneville, which was in his jurisdiction.

"Right there at Pump 8. Big John comes up and asks the young man about the loud music, just like he has done hundreds of times before. Big John don't take no foolishness," said Charles Benson, who said he witnessed the shooting. "That's when he got shot. I don't understand it. The sheriff is gone over loud music? It just don't seem right."

The suspect is 18-year-old William Chase Johnson, the son of a Montgomery County sheriff's deputy. Johnson initially fled the scene, but for reasons unknown to police, he returned to the gas station four hours later and surrendered to authorities. He is expected to be charged with murder Monday in district court.

Officials have not confirmed yet whether Williams was on-duty and in uniform when he was killed, and whether or not he was using a patrol car or an unmarked vehicle.

Williams was first elected sheriff in 2010. Lowndes County coroner Terrell Means will serve as acting sheriff until Gov. Kay Ivey (R) appoints a new sheriff.

Now, the community mourns the loss of a beloved law enforcement officer in a county with a population just over 100,000 people.

"He led the procession in every funeral," state Rep. Kelvin Lawrence said, according to AL.com. "If it was a family reunion, he was there. So, he just did a lot of stuff in the community to make people feel safe and appreciate the law enforcement here in Lowndes County. He just did a lot of things that you wouldn't see the average sheriff would do in terms of being visible in the community."

(H/T Fox News)

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