HAYNEVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Hundreds of community members attended a vigil at Hayneville Middle School Monday night to remember Lowndes County Sheriff John “Big John” Williams.
The community is still trying to come to terms with the tragic loss of its sheriff, who was killed in a shooting Saturday night.
“I grew up in Hayneville and he was a father figure to everybody around here," said community member Crystal McCall.
Sheriff Williams was a friend to many.
“He loved us and we loved him as well," said Charles Grant. "I mean if he could help you he’ll help you.”
Big John made a big impact on the town of Hayneville and on the lives of those around him.
“I stayed up last night just thinking about it. I mean I try to go and do something else, but you can’t do nothing that’s all you thinking about," Grant said.
Officials gathered at the vigil as well to remember the sheriff.
“We are all hurting in Lowndes County," said Lowndes County District Judge Adrian Johnson. "And this is an opportunity for all of us to come together in unity and show that were unified as a community in our support and our love for the sheriff.”
“As frustrated as I have been over the last two days what I hold onto is the fact that in his life and even in his death he did what he was called to do and I know that he was happy,“ said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall
A visitation and funeral will be held at Garrett Coliseum on Coliseum Boulevard in Montgomery on Monday, Dec. 2, Montgomery County Chief Deputy Kevin Murphy said. Visitation will begin at 8 a.m. and the funeral will follow at 11 a.m. Sheriff Williams will be laid to rest in the cemetery of Shiloh Primitive Baptist in Hayneville.