Lowndes County, Ala. (WSFA) - One year ago, Lowndes County residents were shocked beyond belief over the shooting death of their beloved sheriff, John “Big John” Williams.
Current Lowndes County Sheriff Chris West finds it hard to believe it’s been a year.
West had to say goodbye to his former boss who was also a friend and more like a brother.
Although it hasn’t been easy for the community, in a year’s time they have found a way to move on. They named the courthouse after Williams and there are plans down the road to build a statue in his honor.
The statue would likely be constructed on the square across from the courthouse in the next year or two.
“I think overall our county has grown stronger because of what took place with Big John,” West said.
West was recruited out of retirement to become sheriff. He once worked for Williams as his chief deputy.
The late sheriff was shot and killed in the parking lot of the QV convenience store in Hayneville on the night of Nov. 23, 2019.
The alleged gunman, William Chase Johnson who is 19 years old now, faces a capital murder charge. Big John drove up, identified himself and asked for the loud music coming from Johnson’s vehicle to be turned down, according to court records.
Johnson remains in the Elmore County Jail under no bond. Johnson’s case could go to a grand jury in January.
Williams was 62 years old.