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Sheriff’s Department aided in manhunt for suspect in Lowndes County Sheriff shooting

Covington County Sheriff’s Deputies were among law enforcement agencies across the area to assist in a four-hour manhunt for the alleged shooter in the death of Lowndes County Sheriff John “Big John” Williams on Saturday night.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I report that Sheriff Big John Williams of Lowndes County was killed (Saturday night),” Covington County Sheriff Blake Turman said on social media. “CCSD responded to assist in the manhunt. The suspect has been caught. Please keep Big John’s family and staff in your prayers.”

The long-time law enforcement officer was shot at the QV gas station across from the Lowndes County Courthouse on Saturday in downtown Hayneville, just after 8 p.m.

The state issued an Emergency BLUE Alert to located the shooting suspect 18-year-old William Chase Johnson.

After a four-hour-long manhunt, Johnson was taken into custody by dozens of law enforcement officers after he approached the scene of the deadly shooting.

According to the Lowndes Signal, Johnson was taken into custody without incident. The paper reported that a handgun was taken from Johnson as he was apprehended.

Johnson appeared in court Monday.

He is charged with murder and will be held in the Elmore County Jail without bond.

Lowndes County District Judge Adrian Johnson recused himself from the case because he was at the scene. Crenshaw County District Judge Tom Sport was appointed to preside over the case.

Sport issued a gag order in the case Monday, which prohibits anyone from further speaking to the media about the case.