A Moody police sergeant was shot and killed after responding to a call at the Super 8 motel.
Chief Thomas Hunt identified the slain officer as Sgt. Stephen Williams. Williams, a 50-year-old father of three, had been a police officer for 23 years, the last three of those at the Moody Police Department. He began his law enforcement career at the Bessemer Police Department.
Williams was a father of three, according to a Gofundme account set up for the family.
Hunt said Williams had just been promoted to sergeant in the past year and was a recipient of the Officer of the Year award in memory of Keith Turner, who was shot to death June 27, 1998 and was the last Moody officer killed in the line of duty.
“Oh, he was awesome,’’ Hunt said of Williams. “He was just a good man, a good person, fun to be around.”
“He was very thorough in his reports, a good teach, a good mentor,’’ the chief said. “A lot of the guys looked up to Steve.”
“All I can ask is for everybody to please be in prayer for the Williams family and for the Moody police department,” Hunt said.
Williams often fed an American bulldog, Champ, that recognized his patrol vehicle when Williams drove by the city park. “He knows I’m his favorite policeman and I have treats,” Williams said in a Facebook video.
The shooting happened shortly before 9:30 p.m. at the motel on Moody Parkway. A medical helicopter was sent for Williams, but the officer was instead taken by ambulance to UAB Hospital.
Two suspects – a male and female – were taken into custody. Police had the motel where the officer was shot surrounded for hours.
Amar Fouda just moved into the Super 8 on U.S. 411. He said it was about 9:25 when he heard a lot of noise in Room 214, which is directly next to his room.
“I heard like an AK-47,’’ he said. Fouda said he ran into the bathroom and hid in the tub.
When he saw blue lights come on the scene, he looked outside. “I saw one of the officers, he was down,’’ Fouda said.
He said he didn’t know why police were at the motel but said his neighbors “had been making a lot of noise.”
Hunt said the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the St. Clair Sheriff’s Office will be heading the investigation.
“I am deeply saddened to hear Sergeant Stephen Williams was killed in the line of duty last night. He served the Moody Police Department with distinction and had a long, honorable career in law enforcement. In the end, he died a hero, fulfilling the oath he swore to do — to uphold the community he served,” a statement from Gov. Kay Ivey read.
“Beyond his career in law enforcement, he was a father, and now, three children are left without their dad. We must not forget Sgt. Williams’ ultimate sacrifice was that of his family.
“This senseless violence must end. 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. I ask the people of Alabama to join me in prayer for his family, friends and his brothers in arms.”
Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Jay Town released this statement: “Moody Police Sergeant Stephen Williams’ end of watch has come much too soon. 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.”
Alabama General Steven Marshall said he was devastated to receive the phone call about Williams’ death. “I have been slow to make a public statement today because, after a record-breaking year of law enforcement deaths in our state, words just seem so inadequate,” Marshall said.
“Sergeant Williams was responding to a call for help at local hotel. He showed up, ready to assist, and was instantly shot dead. At this point, we have no reason to believe that Sergeant Williams’s shooting is related to the unrest we’re witnessing across the nation. Nevertheless, our state has been plagued in recent months by a lack of respect for law enforcement—most of whom are genuinely good men and women, from all backgrounds, doing an incredibly difficult job.
“Whether black or white, law enforcement or civilian, we are all Alabamians. None of us benefit from lawlessness,” he said. “As I shared with Moody Police Chief Hunt last night, my prayers and deepest sympathies are with the department and Sergeant Williams’s family. My office stands ready to assist in any way that we can.”
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of yet another law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty. Sergeant Stephen Williams bravely committed 23 years of his life to protecting and serving his community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fellow officers of the Moody Police Department. His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten as we mourn alongside the entire law enforcement community.”
Williams is the second Alabama police officer shot to death in the line of duty in 2020.
Kimberly police officer Nick O’Rear was fatally shot on Feb. 4 during a pursuit on Interstate 65 South.