Police Officer James Williams, Jr.

Police Officer James Williams, Jr.

Oakland Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, January 10, 1999

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James Williams, Jr.

Officer James Williams was shot and killed by a sniper while he was searching for a gun.

He and another officer were searching a portion of a highway where two suspects tossed a shotgun out of their vehicle window during an earlier police chase. During the search, a sniper on an overpass opened fire on both officers with a high-powered rifle. Officer Williams was struck in the chest, with the round penetrating his vest. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The other officer was shot but the round was stopped by his handcuff case. The sniper was a friend of the original suspects and decided to shoot at the officers in order to allow the suspects to escape. The suspect was arrested and pled guilty to second-degree murder towards the end of his capital murder trial in order to avoid the death penalty. He was sentenced to life without parole.

Officer Williams had only been with the Oakland Police Department for ten weeks. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and one daughter.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 2 months, 1 week
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to life


Most Recent Reflection

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I learned of your passing while watching a documentary about morticians education. The student attended your funeral. It struck me. You’re a stranger to me, to eachother, but Your family’s pain at your senseless loss of life led me to research who you were. In 99 I was merely 17. Just graduated. Thinking I knew all there was to know about life. And here you were thousands of miles away.…a family, a career. Stolen. I hope the Man who stole you away from your family has somehow at least honored your memory by becoming a changed human. To your Wife..my heart still goes out to you all these years later. To your Daughters…may their children never know the same pain & loss.


December 14, 2022

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