Police Officer James Williams, Jr.

Police Officer James Williams, Jr.

Oakland Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, January 10, 1999

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 and 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

View all 29 Reflections

I cannot believe it has been 20years since that terrible day. When we came to work that next morning we were in shock. RIP James.

John Cave retired Officer
Oakland PD

January 11, 2019

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.