Sheriff fatally shot in line of duty, suspect on the run, Alabama officials say

Around the South

Sheriff John Williams in a photo from WDHN-TV

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama sheriff was fatally shot in the line of duty Saturday evening in a county near the state capital city, Gov. Kay Ivey said.

Ivey tweeted that Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams was “a pillar of the community.” Ivey offered prayers and sympathy to his family and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department.

The county is southwest of Montgomery, the state’s capital.

William Chase Johnson in a photo from WDHN

Details weren’t immediately clear. Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham told news outlets that Williams was shot at a gas station in the county seat of Hayneville.

Officials said they were looking for William Chase Johnson, 18, in connection with the shooting, WDHN-TV reported.

“Johnson may be traveling on foot and is believed to be a serious risk to the public.  Johnson was last seen at the QV gas station in Lowndes County,” a statement from an Emergency BLUE Alert said.

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency spokesman Cpl. Jess Thornton told reporters the State Bureau of Investigations was en route to the county.

Ivey’s tweet paid tribute to Williams, saying in his past years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps and “his many years working in law enforcement, he dedicated his life to keeping other people safe.”

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